Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk: 25 boxing experts make their predictions for Riyadh clash

Fighters, former champions, trainers and promoters predict the outcome of Saturday's main event

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Boxing history will be made on Saturday night at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh when Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk fight to become the first undisputed heavyweight world champion for a quarter of a century.

This bout has been a long time coming after several delays, but as fight night finally approaches, we cast the net far and wide and collated 25 predictions made by former champions, active boxers, trainers and promoters.

This will be the first time that two heavyweight champions have fought to unify all of the straps in the four-belt era, and opinion is certainly divided about the outcome.

Lennox Lewis, the last undisputed champion back in 1999, has had his say, as have many other high-profile individuals from the world of boxing. Scroll down as we take the temperature ahead of the biggest fight of the year.

1 Lennox Lewis, the last undisputed heavyweight champion

It’s an interesting match-up but I always say if two guys have the same technical skill, the bigger fighter wins because he can force his size on the other guy. It’s happened before where the smaller guy won but, in this case, Tyson Fury’s got lots of different weapons in his arsenal.

Prediction: Fury

2 Anthony Joshua, former two-time heavyweight champion

Usyk is a phenomenal fighter, does everything to a tee, and I would say he is going to do a really good job. I have never fought Tyson Fury so I can't really speak on how he will perform or what it is like to face him, so only speaking on what I know I would have to say Oleksandr Usyk will be victorious.

Prediction: Usyk

3 Mike Tyson, youngest heavyweight champion in history

I'm going towards Tyson Fury because I think he's just going to overpower him. He's going to catch up with him and overpower him. I got to go with Fury. I think he's the best fighter in the world, especially in the heavyweight division.

Prediction: Fury

4 Evander Holyfield, former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion

There are things [Fury] doesn’t do well – he doesn’t fight inside really well; nobody comes in quick to hit him with punches. It will show when he fights Usyk. Usyk’s a good fighter but Usyk has got fast hands, he can fight inside, he can fight outside, so you will see a big difference. You’ve got to be a complete fighter to win all the time.

Prediction: Usyk

5 Oscar De La Hoya, former six-weight world champion

I think Tyson Fury is the bigger version of Usyk. He has speed, he has power, he's very versatile. I have to go with Tyson.

Prediction: Fury

6 Deontay Wilder, former WBC heavyweight champion

Fury’s size is what makes him gain more success. When I see him against Usyk, I see how they cheated [Steve] Cunningham with that clubbing, putting his weight on him and clubbing him, and I could see him doing the same thing with Usyk. I do think Usyk has more skill, but when it comes to the size and stuff, I don’t think he’ll be able to compete with the size of Fury.

Prediction: Fury

7 Andy Ruiz Jr, former unified heavyweight champion

I think if Usyk throws his combinations, goes inside, sticks to the gameplan... not let Fury box him around, use the jab, use the distance, then I think Usyk will do good.

Prediction: Usyk

8 Prince Naseem Hamed, former unified featherweight champion

I'm hoping Tyson Fury is going to win that fight on points. I believe that if he stands up in the 12th round, he will get his hand raised, regardless of what's going to happen.

Prediction: Fury

9 Filip Hrgovic, heavyweight contender

I give Usyk a little bit of an edge in the fight because he is the more complete fighter. He is always in good shape, has great defence, good footwork and he has solid power as well.

Prediction: Usyk

10 Eddie Hearn, boxing promoter

I saw a video of Usyk the other day, he looks in tremendous shape. My pick is going backwards and forwards. I went with Fury, now I'm with Usyk.

Prediction: Usyk

11 Derek Chisora, former opponent of Usyk and Fury

Tyson [to win]. He’s the bigger guy, longer reach. Just Tyson. This is like a man taking candy out a baby’s hand, bro. Tyson’s going to win. He’s going to walk through that guy. That’s it.

Prediction: Fury

12 Francis Ngannou, former Fury opponent

If I am objective, then I would say Tyson Fury. I am not counting Usyk out, he can win this fight, he has a very good chance, but I still have to go for Tyson. And maybe we can have the rematch.

Prediction: Fury

13 Tony Bellew, former WBC cruiserweight champion

[Tyson Fury] is a fighter that loves to press fighters and look for a knockout under the brilliant SugarHill Steward at the Kronk. He's a different fighter now, he's someone that looks for the knockout and that's music to Oleksandr Usyk's ears. I know, because I've been in there with him, the boy is exceptional at what he does.

Prediction: Usyk

14 George Groves, former WBA super middleweight champion

I think Usyk wins. I think he's in better form. I know people are attacking him a bit for the Dubois performance, but I thought he was very, very good. Usyk was in full control and stopped him. Usyk will take Fury out of his comfort zone.

Prediction: Usyk

15 Daniel Dubois, heavyweight contender

Fury has his own IQ, he makes it up [as he goes along] and it works. I hope Fury wins, I want him to win. If he wins then it puts the heavyweights in England in a better position.

Prediction: Fury

16 Malik Scott, Deontay Wilder’s trainer

In terms of the winner, I would go with Usyk, but at the same time, Fury is big and knows how to use his size. Fury is in better shape than I thought he would be. He's not slow, he has good punching power and a good boxing mind. It's a good fight on paper. But we'll see what happens.

Prediction: Usyk

17 Hamzah Sheeraz, middleweight contender

Fury knows how to use his size and he is athletic with it as well. I think if you're fighting someone like Usyk then you need to be able to do what he does but do it better. Fury will have the bit between his teeth after his last performance.

Prediction: Fury

18 Carl Frampton, former two-weight world champion

I lean towards Fury, without any air of confidence as you can make an argument for Usyk winning the fight. But I am just edging Fury.

Prediction: Fury

19 Darren Barker, former IBF middleweight champion

I am leaning towards Fury as when I was a kid I was always told that a good big one beats a good little one. On May 18 we could witness one of the greatest to ever step in the ring. If Usyk beats Fury, you’re talking about one of the greatest of all time. I lean Fury because of the size but anything can happen.

Prediction: Fury

20 Don Charles, boxing trainer

I never made it a secret whenever asked this question. I have Tyson as a clear winner in that fight. It isn’t going to be easy, but Tyson is a clear winner.

Prediction: Fury

21 Jarrell 'Big Baby' Miller, heavyweight contender

I think Tyson is going to pull it off. Tyson is a good guy. I'm going more with my feelings and my relationships with them... Tyson is a big, fun loveable guy who has always been positive with me, so I am rooting for him.

Prediction: Fury

22 Johnny Nelson, former WBO cruiserweight champion

If Tyson Fury turns up, then he wins. An under-performing, under-par Fury and he doesn’t. But I expect the best Tyson Fury to turn up.

Prediction: Fury

23 Manny Robles, boxing trainer

You are only as good as your last fight, so Usyk has the edge at the moment. We all saw Fury's last fight; he didn’t come in the best of shape, and he underestimated his opponent - we all did - now he has to get back in the gym because Usyk is no joke.

Prediction: Usyk

24 Shane McGuigan, boxing trainer

We don’t know what Fury has got left. Usyk is not on the decline. I didn’t think heavyweight would suit him when he first stepped up and fought Chisora, but he has filled into the weight a lot more. He has just kept his athleticism as he has gotten older better than Fury has, and I believe he might beat him on points. It’s going to be a split decision, 7-5 either way.

Prediction: Usyk

25 David Price, beat Fury in the amateurs

I just think Tyson Fury is an expert at being the big man and I think he'll use his size, his weight, his reach. I think he’ll probably be behind in the fight, but he'll eventually come back and find a way to win late on, that's how I’m seeing it, but anything can happen in heavyweight boxing.

Prediction: Fury

Final score: Fury 15 Usyk 10

Updated: May 18, 2024, 7:15 AM