Boxing is a sport that loves a comeback story, but heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been warned that he’s been inactive for too long to avoid a ‘disaster’ if he faces Oleksandr Usyk.
Fury’s last action in the ring was in December when he beat Derek Chisora by TKO at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to retain the WBC heavyweight title. Afterwards, he called Usyk up into the ring before challenging him to a fight amidst a barrage of abuse.
That had been anticipated to take place in April but fell through because of a contractual dispute over a rematch clause. Rumors then swirled about an all-star double-bill in Saudi Arabia in December also featuring Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder – Joshua’s preparations for this have also been affected by contract disputes.
However, promoter Frank Warren has admitted that it won’t be happening this year anymore with that event now postponed until January. Unless another fight is arranged, this would leave Fury without any action for a whole calendar year for the first time since 2017 and this inactivity is a cause for concern for boxing legend Carl Froch.
Fury made to wait
So far Fury remains undefeated in his boxing career, with 33 wins and one draw from 34 fights. However, Froch believes that he is setting himself up for trouble, telling talkSPORT: “If he gets too out of shape and remains out of the ring for too long, there comes a point of no return where he could find himself in a tough fight against an average opponent.”
Fury famously fell badly out of condition in 2016, gaining weight in between fights with Wladimir Klitschko and suffering from depression and alcohol and cocaine abuse. He eventually made his comeback in June 2015, defeating Sefer Seferi and has remained steadily active since, with the exception of the pandemic.
However, a battle with fellow undefeated heavyweight champion Usyk could represent a different challenge for Fury. The Ukrainian has beaten Joshua twice in recent years, defending his WBA, WBO and IBF championship belts and has been ranked as the world’s best boxer by The Ring.
Heading for disaster?
Froch is concerned that a not-fully-fit Fury would struggle to cope with Usyk’s fighting style: “He has to be fit for 12 rounds because if Usyk decides to maintain distance, box smartly, and avoid engaging too much, constantly targeting Fury’s body, arms, and chest, and only striking when within range, it could spell a 12-round disaster for Tyson Fury.
“I’m not entirely convinced he would go straight in against Usyk, and that might be why he priced himself out of the fight,” said Froch.
While Fury has been out of the ring for more than six months so far, he’s kept himself busy calling out potential opponents, including MMA heavyweights Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones.
Warren has hinted that one of these match-ups could happen sooner rather than later, having claimed that Fury’s next fight would be a ‘game changer’. However, while Ngannou would be free to take part in a boxing event, Jones would require permission from UFC president Dana White, which could be a potential stumbling block.
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.