You can’t accuse Tyson Fury of lacking self-belief.
The WBC heavyweight boxing champion has agreed on a unification fight with Oleksandr Usyk – despite the not-inconsiderable challenge of first facing former UFC strap holder Francis Ngannou in a crossover bout.
Although Fury is considered by many to be the best heavyweight of his generation, it would surely be foolhardy to overlook a man who won 12 of his UFC outings via KO.
But this is the Gypsy King we’re talking about, and confidence is rarely in short supply…
Blink and You’ll Miss It
The Fury vs Ngannou odds are comprehensively behind the British boxer ahead of their duel in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, with Fury a mammoth -2500 favorite with the sportsbooks – Ngannou the significant outsider at +900.
And the Paddy Power boxing odds would suggest that it could be a short night’s work for the 35-year-old, with prices of -700 for the fight not to go the distance and +500 on the bout to end in round three – the shortest odds of the round-by-round wagering options.
Fury himself believes he will take care of business early on, vowing to finish Ngannou ‘inside six rounds’ before claiming that ‘no one can take my power’ in a face-off interview with the Cameroonian hosted by TNT Boxing.
Ngannou laughed off Fury’s claims, even if the sportsbooks tend to agree with the Gypsy King’s assertion of how the fight will go.
But The Predator, as he is known, boasts fearsome punch power of his own, and while he is a boxing novice in the very literal sense of the word, every fighter holds the potential to win a bout – just ask Mike Tyson, Ngannou’s trainer, who suffered a very painful and unexpected defeat to ‘no hoper’ Buster Douglas back in 1990.
If Fury is already planning for his career-defining date with Usyk and takes his eye off the ball, Ngannou could take advantage of one of the most eye-catching upset defeats the sport has ever seen.
A Card and a Half
Because Fury’s WBC gold isn’t on the line against Ngannou, his super-fight with Usyk is now guaranteed with all the necessary paperwork reportedly signed, sealed, and delivered.
And those behind the biggest, in all senses, heavyweight clash in years have ambitions to turn it into a super-card featuring two other power punchers.
After suffering respective defeats to Usyk and Fury, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are looking to get their careers back on track in the top division. And they might be given a chance to do exactly that on the undercard of their previous foe’s meeting – albeit against one another.
AJ VS WILDER ON FURY/USYK UNDERCARD? 🤔
Anthony Joshua has confirmed that a fight with Deontay Wilder could still go ahead on the Fury/Usyk undercard 😲
— IFL TV (@IFLTV) October 23, 2023
Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua, has intimated that a contest with Wilder has been agreed, with the American’s manager Shelly Finkel also speaking of his client’s desire to make the fight happen.
And it could take second billing to Fury vs Usyk in 2024 on a card likely to take place in Saudi Arabia once again, which would be a blockbuster way to ring in the new year for fight fans.