On Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk, the history being made, and showing off

Eugene Ravdin

Eugene Ravdin

Infographics for On Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr UsykWe don't know how lucky we are, boys. History is made right in front of our eyes.

We have witnessed the long-lasting Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry and Tom Brady's remarkable 23-year-long run. We are blessed to watch Pep Guardiola leaving his imprint on football tactics. We can marvel at the ageless LeBron James, Alexander Ovechkin, and Novak Djokovic chasing and breaking record after record.

Each time indeed has its heroes, but these guys are nothing short of legends by any scale.

Last weekend, I watched another event that will go down to the sports history books. Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury by a split decision at the Ring of Fire event in Saudi Arabia and added Fury's WBC belt to his collection of WBA, WBO and IBF titles. While a rematch should follow in autumn, the Ukrainian became the first boxer to hold all four major world titles in both the heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions.

In my book, this is more than enough to make history.

This spectacular fight had everything a fan could wish for – the wait, the setting, the stakes, the taunting, the comeback, the knockdown, you name it. But what made it even more entertaining was the contrast between the two protagonists. Not just in their boxing style.

It all comes down to the personality. Where Usyk is quiet, Fury yells out a hundred words. Usyk looks like a man on a mission. Fury looks like a man looking for a bar brawl after several pints. Usyk is a Warrior. Fury is a Loudmouth and a Jester. No disrespect to Tyson, he is a fighter too and a legend of his own, I am just talking about their image and my perception.

The staredowns at the pre-fight press conference and after the weigh-in presented a vivid example of Tyson being Tyson. First, he refused a staredown completely as if saying "I will do with you whatever I want", and the next day he clashed foreheads with Usyk and pushed him in the chest. The Ukrainian remained ice-cool, invulnerable to the Fury's mind games.

FURY REFUSES STAREDOWN! ❌ | Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk go head-to-head at final press conference

It was the same story with the ring walk. Usyk appeared in a Cossack warrior outfit to a dramatic patriotic tune, focused and unwavering. A man of steel. Fury came out rocking and having fun to a joyful "My First, My Last, My Everything" disco hit by Barry White.

The Gipsy King kept on dancing through the first rounds, showboating, dropping his hands behind the back, and clowning around as he was in control of the fight. Usyk had trouble getting close and finding angles but remained patient and managed to land several left punches.

The decisive moment arrived in Round 9 when Usyk connected two big punches and had Fury in no mood for jokes any more. The referee called a knockdown before the bell saved Fury from hitting the canvas for good, and though he recovered and came back strongly Usyk made sure to complete the job and collect the belt he was missing.

Please do not mistake this for "The Show-off and the Punishment" sermon, I am all for showing off.

On the contrary, it does not matter which mask you put on or which role you play. Whether you try to get into the opponent's head or remain calm and respectful, makes no big difference. It is all about who flinches at the wrong moment.

And if you have not seen the fight, make sure you do not flinch for the next 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

UNDISPUTED CHAMPION CROWNED | Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk Fight Highlights (Ring of Fire)

Review Author

Eugene Ravdin

Eugene Ravdin

Hey! I've been working for the official UEFA website for 18 years as a translator, reporter, editor, and language version editor in chief.


Vadims Mikeļevičs

Vadims Mikeļevičs

Vadims Mikeļevičs is an e-sports and biathlon enthusiast with years of writing experience about games, sports, and bookmakers.