By: Sean Crose
Let’s face it, the chances of Tyson Fury losing to UFC great Francis Ngannou this weekend in Saudi Arabia are slim. Ngannou is a tough and determined competitor. He’s also a mixed martial artist who will be facing one the top boxers in the world in a boxing match. Kobe Bryant can play on the court better than anyone – so long as it’s a basketball court. Put him on a tennis court and it will be another story. Sure both courts have games played on them involving a ball, but they involve entirely different endeavors. The same can be true of boxing and mixed martial arts: the differences ultimately outweigh the commonalities. There’s a lot of money in these novelty bouts, however, so the show will go on in Saudi Arabia in the next few days.
In the meantime, Oleksanr Usyk will watch and wait. Like Fury, Usyk is a heavyweight boxing titlist. Fury owns the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles while Usyk possesses the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts. And, provided Fury wins as expected this weekend, Usyk will be facing the towering Englishman next. What’s more, their fight will be for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. In other words, the winner will be in possession of all the heavyweight division’s major titles. It will be quite the big deal. There hasn’t been an undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis ruled supreme over the division decades ago.
Usyk, for those who don’t know, is considered a far greater threat to Fury than the popular Ngannou currently is. Like Fury, Usyk is an undefeated, skilled and extremely talented success story. That, however, is pretty much where the similarities between the two men end. Usky is a likeable guy who can often be sharply funny. Fury, on the other hand, has a bulldozer of a personality. Loud, eccentric, comical and supremely confident, this giant of a man draws in a ton of media attention, and with good reason. As the old saying goes, he makes good copy.
Ultimately, however, a fighter must prove his or her worth in the ring. And, to be sure, Fury has proven his worth over and over again. Will he be able to prove himself against Usyk, though? It’s safe to say Usyk doesn’t think so. Like Fury, he too has proven himself over and over again. With Fury taking form on the horizon, Usyk is unquestionably reading himself to prove his worth once more. Provided, of course, that Fury top Ngannou on Saturday. One never knows in boxing.
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