After a thrilling trilogy against Deontay Wilder, controversially drawing with the ‘Bronze Bomber’ in 2018 before beating the American twice in succession to win and retain the WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles to complete his amazing return to the pinnacle of the sport, Tyson Fury has failed to build much excitement for his last couple of fights.
The Gypsy King faced British rivals Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora last year, with his bout against the latter in particular receiving plenty of criticism from boxing pundits and fans alike as it was not a trilogy anybody wanted to see over potential blockbuster fights against the top heavyweights in the world.
Fury has left his fans frustrated again this year, as those much-anticipated bouts have once more failed to materialise. The 35-year-old is now set to go toe-to-toe with former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on October 28, where he is the overwhelming favourite to win in the boxing betting at 1/20.
It feels like these last couple of years of Fury’s career might have been wasted, and we can never guarantee that we are going to see the historic heavyweight fights that millions all over the world have craved, but let’s take a look at some of his options following his upcoming bout.
Of course, one of the blockbuster fights we have been talking about thus far would see Fury take on Oleksandr Usyk to become the undisputed heavyweight champion. The undefeated Ukrainian stepped up to the blue-riband division after winning all the belts at cruiserweight and he dispatched Chazz Witherspoon and Chisora to set up a title fight with Anthony Joshua.
There was a sense that Usyk was being somewhat overlooked in the build-up to the bout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and he proved his class with a unanimous decision victory over ‘AJ’. The 36-year-old won their second matchup via split decision and was perhaps lucky not to suffer the first defeat of his career against Daniel Dubois recently, as a body shot from the Brit sent Usyk to the canvas — but was controversially called a low blow by the referee.
That meant he had five minutes to recover and he later knocked Dubois out in the ninth round to extend his unbeaten run to 21-0. The 26-year-old’s promoter Frank Warren has since appealed to have the result overturned, but if that’s unsuccessful, Dubois will want another crack at Usyk. That would push a bout with Fury back even further.
Will they? Won’t they? That’s been the big debate in the boxing world for far too long when it comes to a potential fight between Joshua and Fury. Talks between the pair for the British mega-bout have collapsed more times than we care to count, but there’s that slight feeling of hope that one day, it might actually come to fruition.
Indeed, it might have lost its edge somewhat due to AJ’s defeats to Usyk and the fact it won’t be a unification match like it could have been had it actually happened a couple of years ago as planned. But absolutely nobody would be opposed to just seeing these two greats of the game going at it for 12 rounds.
Joshua’s camp has been in talks with Fury’s old foe Wilder, but there are reports circulating that he has put a stop to those negotiations in a bid to finally make this long-awaited fight with Fury happen.
Fellow British heavyweight Joe Joyce is another option, but the 37-year-old might need to put the record straight in his second fight with China’s Zhilei Zhang later this month. Joyce lost via TKO in the sixth round of their encounter at the Copper Box Arena earlier this year.