Fury vs Usyk is the biggest fight this century

23 days ago
Fury vs Usyk

WHO IS THE best boxer in the world? The question is not easy to answer, not least because there are 17 different weight classes. For their sheer size and brute power, though, heavyweights, who tip the scales at anything above 91kg (201lb), tend to be the most acclaimed. Yet even identifying the best of the big men is difficult. Boxing is a splintered sport in which an alphabet soup of governing bodies—the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF—award titles. No one since Lennox Lewis in 1999 has held all four in the heavyweight division.

That will change on May 18th when Tyson Fury fights Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital. Mr Fury, a 2.06m (six-foot eight-inch) Briton, holds the WBC title and is the favourite, in part due to his height advantage. Mr Usyk, a Ukrainian who holds the remaining three belts, stands at a mere 1.91m. It is not just the prospect of anointing an undisputed champion that makes the bout tantalising. The pair are outstanding pugilists, who dominate the weight division. Both have yet to lose. Mr Fury’s record is 34 wins, 24 by knockouts; Mr Usyk has 21 wins, with 14 knockouts. Many fans lament that the contest is happening when their powers are fading. Mr Fury is 35, Mr Usyk 37. Both have been at the top for years—but they have never fought each other. That reflects much that is wrong with boxing.

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