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Jim Lampley On Tyson Fury: “I Think He’s Ducking Usyk.”

Posted on 08/23/2023

By: Sean Crose

With over thirty years of experience working the boxing beat for HBO, famed fight broadcaster Jim Lampley is clearly someone people in and around the sweet science take seriously. In other words, when the now 74 year old Lampley speaks, people listen. And Lampley made a notable point in an interview with FightHype posted on Wednesday. Asked what he thought of accusations that WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury is avoiding WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk, Lampley was to the point.

“I think he’s ducking Usyk,” Lampley said of Fury, “at least for the time being and then eventually the money will pile up to such an extent that it can’t be avoided anymore.” Lampley then made it clear that he feels Fury is wise to avoid his fellow heavyweight titlist. “If there’s anybody in the world he (Fury) should duck in terms of style,” Lampley said, “it’s definitely Usyk.” As far as Lampley is concerned, Usyk is simply a problem for Fury stylistically.

“What is Usyk?” Lampley asked rhetorically. “He’s a quick counter puncher. He’s a quicker counter puncher than Fury – necessarily because of size.” Not that Lampley thinks Fury has nothing in his deck to enable him to emerge victorious from an Usyk fight. “The question,” Lampley says, “is if Fury catches him with the kind of courter shot with which he caught Wilder, can Usyk take that? We don’t know.”

Either way, Lampley clearly wants the Fury-Usyk fight to become a reality. “I want to see it,” he said. “I want to see Fury fight Usyk” Yet Lampley also indicated that he isn’t just hoping for Fury-Usyk to come to fruition. “There are a lot of things to want to see in boxing,” he said.

When essentially asked if he feels Fury’s upcoming fight with former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannu is a less than serious affair Lampley answered without hesitation. “They’re fighting with boxing rules, right?” he asked. “End of subject.”

Lampley went on to explain that boxing and MMA are simply two different sports with distinct sets of specialized rules. “MMA fighters are not built by their experience and their background to fight with boxing rules,” he said. “Boxing rules are different, even the mat itself from which you fight is different.”

Lampley then used 2017’s lucrative Mayweather-McGregor bout as an example. “Floyd (Mayweather) knew that if he allowed (Conor) McGregor to throw most of his punches in the early rounds, he would give away his legs,” said Lampley, “and eventually that’s what happened.”

*Image: University of North Carolina

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