Home Boxing News Michael Hunter says Tyson Fury’s “gypsy tricks” didn’t work against Oleksandr Usyk

Michael Hunter says Tyson Fury’s “gypsy tricks” didn’t work against Oleksandr Usyk

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Photo credit: Yasser-al-UMARI/AFP

Heavyweight Michael Hunter says his former sparring partner Tyson Fury 34-1-1 (24) lost the battle on mind games in his undisputed heavyweight title fight against Oleksandr Usyk 22-0 (14) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.

Britain’s Fury, 35, boxed well in the first half of the fight but spent a lot of time taunting Usyk and mugging for the crowd. Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 37, ignored his antics and focused on the ask at hand, coming on strong in the back half of the fight and scoring a knockdown in the ninth.

The knockdown proved the difference and Usyk was declared the victor by split decision with scores of 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.

Hunter, whose lone loss was to Usyk at cruiserweight seven years ago, says the newly crowned undisputed champion took away one of Fury’s key strengths.

“Tyson Fury has strong mental abilities, but he does a lot of traps and tricks and gypsy things. I just think that ended on the night,” Hunter 22-1-2 (16) told Boxing Social.

“When you’re in there with somebody like that at a high calibre, the games are a little bit different. You can’t really play too many games like that.”

In his post-fight interview, Fury insisted he won the fight, even suggesting the judges who scored the bout for Usyk did so out of sympathy for Ukraine after Russia’s two-year long invasion.

“You know his country’s at war, so people are siding for the country at war,” Fury said. “Make no mistake, I won that fight, and I’ll be back.”

Fury added: “I’m not a judge and I can’t judge a fight while I’m boxing it.

“If they’d said to me before the last round that I was down I would have gone and tried to finish it but everyone in the corner believed we were up.

“All I had to do was just keep boxing and keep doing what I was doing and I was getting it.

“I’m not going to cry about it, I’ve had plenty of victories.

“I was having a lot of fun, I was playing around, I had my hands around my back, I was enjoying it.”

The last man to hold the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world a quarter of a century ago, Lennox Lewis, was asked about his thoughts on the DAZN broadcast.

“Fury was boxing like he won the fight.” he said. “No boxer can judge and say they won the fight. Every time a round was close they should look at it like a loss.”

Hunter said the fight played out exactly as he thought it would.

“I thought Usyk would lose the first half of the fight but go on and win the whole fight,” Hunter said.

“[I knew] he would have to win a couple of those rounds in the first half of the fight. I knew he would win the back half in better fashion and it was exactly as I said.

“Usyk has been competing at a high level, while Tyson Fury has been spotty for years. He’s been dropped seven times in his career, while Usyk has never been dropped and has won everything in the amateurs and as a cruiserweight.

“I just know competing at that level and having that type of mental fortitude would push him through.”