Tyson Fury is taking a huge risk with six-week training camp for Oleksandr Usyk
In his latest column, former Olympian and heavyweight contender Frazer Clarke looks back on a frantic week of negotiations between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk ahead to their undisputed showdown.
Doubts over 29 April date
The week has been dominated by Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk and while it looks like a split has been agreed, I don’t think it happens in April if I’m honest.
That proposed date on the 29th is six weeks away, it is just around the corner now. Don’t get me wrong, a fight like this doesn’t need much building up, because it’s a historic fight. But there is a limit.
I know Fury insists he only needs six weeks and he says he is constantly in the gym. But he is a consummate professional and he is going to want to be in the best shape he can possibly be in and I believe he needs more than six weeks to get to that.
I would rather they put it back another four weeks, instead of all this talk of it happening on 29 April only for it not to.
Some of the stuff Tyson has come out with the last week or so, it is part of what makes him as good as he is, the way he disregards his opponent and their preparation and just concentrates on himself and what he does.
It is one of the things that makes him better than anyone else, he doesn’t really care what Usyk is doing as long as long as he has himself in the right condition. It is one of the things that makes him unique.
Does he actually believe he can beat Usyk with six weeks camp? If he does, it is a great place to be mentally. But for me personally, you have got to find the sparring, you have got to get yourself mentally and physically prepared.
Tyson’s tiresome antics
He claims he already is in the greatest condition of his life but as ever, you have to take that with a pinch of salt when it comes to Tyson Fury. We just don’t know what to take from him sometimes. He is a walking contradiction.
I think you do get sick of it. I’m one of Tyson Fury’s biggest fans but eventually, something has got to give. He can talk and talk about the big fight but you’ve got to be in them. Of course he was in there with Wladimir Klitschko, with Deontay Wilder three times, but we need to see this one happen.
There has been suggestions Usyk has called Fury’s bluff in these negotiations. I don’t think Fury was ever going to budge on the 70-30, once he had a number in his head, he was never going to back down.
It was a win-win situation, if Usyk didn’t agree it would look like he doesn’t want the fight and he comes out on top regardless. It has been a bit WWE but secretly, I think Tyson would have been shocked Usyk so quickly agreed the 70-30 – I think Usyk would have accepted anything to make this fight happen just to get him in the ring. He could have gone all day like that and ended up doing the fight for free. It just shows he just wants to fight and you can see that.
The rematch clause has been another issue. In this age of boxing, I just can’t see a scenario where there isn’t a rematch clause. We can’t get away from them. Realistically, when both men break it down, the reality is they won’t want to miss out on a second pay day. Above all else, this is money-driven and I am sure that will be in there.
Dan Azeez heading for world title
It was another brilliant night for Dan Azeez last weekend. Dan is a great fighter and a great guy, always has a smile on his face. It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot but he is a real throwback fighter.
I watched the fight and the way he broke Thomas Faure down was superb. After about five rounds, he had beaten any hope out of him before getting the finish. That is what you have to do on the road in France.
Anything can happen over there decision-wise and he went about his job like a true professional. He is a massive success story and I am really happy for him, he’s an inspiration for people like myself. He has worked hard and he is getting his rewards for it.
Doors will be opening for him for those huge fights against Anthony Yarde, Joshua Buatsi and Callum Smith.
I don’t think those fights are too far off at all and he gives anyone a tough time. Yarde and Buatsi have a little bit more experience at the minute.
But if he keeps going the way he is, he will be involved in massive headline fights against those guys.
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