Home Boxing News Evander Holyfield breaks down Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight

Evander Holyfield breaks down Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight

Evander Holyfield and Oleksandr Usyk

Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) wants to emulate Evander Holyfield and become the undisputed champion of the world.

WBA, WBO and IBF champion Usyk and Holyfield both won their first world championships in the cruiserweight division with the 35-year-old Ukrainian southpaw claiming all four major world titles to earn undisputed status in 2018 while Holyfield collected all the major hardware in 1988 in the three belt era.

When Holyfield was boxing, the cruiserweight limit was 190-pounds rather than the 200-pounds it is now.

Usyk made one defence of his undisputed status before moving up to heavyweight. Holyfield made that jump immediately after becoming the undisputed champ.

At 6-foot-two-and-a-half, Holyfield has a lot in common with the 6-foot-3 Usyk. As a heavyweight, Holyfield typically weighed around the 210-220-pound mark. His heaviest weight was 226-pounds in his final professional bout at the age of 48. Usyk’s average weight in his four bouts in the open weight class is just under 219-pounds.

“I remember being overseas and Usyk said, ‘I’m going to do the same thing that you did,’ and he almost done it. If he fought Tyson Fury, he would,” Holyfield said to iFL TV.

Negotiations are currently underway for Usyk to face WBC champion Fury 33-0-1 (24) in the first quarter of 2023.

“When I look at the fight, both of the guys are good fighters but the smaller guy [Usyk] has faster hands,” Holyfield continued.

“If the big guy [Fury] don’t make the smaller guy fight like him, he’s going to win because that’s the reason I went up [to heavyweight]. I realised I was quicker than everybody.”

Even when he was well past his prime, a 46-year-old Holyfield proved he still knew how to handle larger men when he lost a hotly disputed majority decision to 7-foot tall Russian Nikolai Valuev in 2008.

But unlike the lumbering Valuev, Holyfield has noticed the big men of today have become more athletic.

“It makes a lot because the facts of the matter is the big difference is this. Back in my day if a guy was too big, they called him ‘goofy’ and the guy didn’t even perform well,” he said.

“Now these big guys have got the rhythm, they got the balance, and they got everything that a smaller guy has so it’s difficult. It has grown difficult because these guys start at a young age.

“You know like early learning, sports is pretty much the same thing.  If you start at an early age, you can be so much better if you’re bigger. It’s pretty much how Tyson Fury fights.

“If the guy has fast hands and good combinations, it’s hard to stop a big guy. That’s why I moved up to heavyweight. I would have an advantage over the guys that were tall and bigger because they throw one or two punches and they don’t like to get hit.

“So they get hit and all of a sudden, they crumble.”