Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk says Tyson Fury underperformed against Francis Ngannou, but doesn’t expect...

Oleksandr Usyk says Tyson Fury underperformed against Francis Ngannou, but doesn’t expect him to make the same mistake twice

Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Richard Pelham/The Sun

WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) is expecting a better version of WBC titleholder Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) if they meet in February as expected.

Britain’s Fury, 35, unexpectedly struggled against boxing debutant and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou 0-1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28. The self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ had to peel himself off the canvas in the third round to box his way to a close split decision victory.

“I think that Tyson Fury underestimated Francis Ngannou,” Usyk said. “He will be different with me. I think he will make some conclusions after his last fight. But again, I absolutely don’t care about how he’ll behave. What I care for is how I will behave.

“Ngannou did a good job in the gym. Then showed a good level on the ring. Very few people believed in Ngannou. Even when I was asked about him I replied that he’s not enough.”

Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 36, rates Fury as a boxer, but says he has the answer for his tricky style.

“He is big, complicated, strong. But, I am slightly smaller, and I have an incredible motivation, and I’m hungry for boxing. I’m not motivated by money,” the former undisputed cruiserweight champion said.

“I don’t care about material things. I care for the path I follow. I was [working for] this for 20 years. And I think that in February, we’ll hear the bell.”

Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk says while he was impressed by Ngannou’s performance, the 37-year-old French-Cameroonian still had areas he could improve.

“He looked good,” Krassyuk said to ProBox TV. “Boxing-wise, with all due respect, he hasn’t got the best boxing skills or boxing IQ, but his determination and his concentration was very good.

“He was very motivated and very focused, very disciplined That’s what made him look like that. He didn’t have much tactics, but his tactics were sufficient to make Tyson look a little bit stupid fighting a guy having his pro debut in boxing.

“I heard many rumours that Tyson Fury was getting himself prepared to his very best. But when you look at someone’s body, you can tell if he trained or whether he was chilling in the gym. It doesn’t matter how eat or how much you sleep, but if you do it consistently over a couple of months, you can definitely see it on his body.

“Remember when Andy Ruiz knocked [Anthony] Joshua out, he also didn’t look fit but when he started to train you immediately notice it on his body. Even though he still has fat on his body, his movements were sharp, he was concentrated and his reactions were better.

“Tyson Fury did not have that sense of distance against Ngannou, any trainer will tell you that this is the first sign that the fighter did not do any sparring, if they don’t have that sense of distance when they are trying to punch someone.

“He just couldn’t find the distance to hit his opponent. He was trying, it was either too far or too close. He couldn’t use his jab.”

Perhaps the most telling thing about the fight was how Fury struggled with Ngannou when he turned southpaw. Usyk is a lefty.

“The worst thing about Tyson Fury is that he doesn’t know how to deal with a southpaw,” Krassyuk continued.

“That is the worst thing about him fighting Usyk, he doesn’t know the concept. He doesn’t know when to step in and out of his attacks. Just a normal technical mistake, he has done it a lot. He tries to switch to southpaw himself to give himself an advantage. Every time he tried this against Ngannou, he was punished.”