Lennox Lewis: Critical Take on Fury’s Game Plan

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk: A Tactical Misstep According to Lennox Lewis

In the high-stakes world of heavyweight boxing, strategic errors can tarnish even the most illustrious records. This was evident when Tyson Fury, known for his impeccable record and WBC title, faced Oleksandr Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The bout ended in a split-decision loss for Fury, marking his first defeat and leading to Usyk being crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era. The event drew critical remarks from boxing legend Lennox Lewis, particularly regarding Fury’s approach to the match.

Tactical Errors Unpacked

Tyson Fury’s approach to the bout with Usyk seemed to lean heavily on confidence from his previous unbeaten streak, perhaps to his detriment. Lennox Lewis, a former undisputed heavyweight champion, commented on Fury’s tactical execution during the match, expressing his dissatisfaction with Fury’s complacency. Speaking on DAZN, Lewis pointed out, “Fury was boxing like he won the fight,” highlighting a critical mistake—assuming victory too early in the fight. Lewis stressed that no boxer should ever feel secure until the fight is conclusively won, suggesting that “every time a round was close, they should look at it like a loss.”

The Pivotal Rounds

The fight’s momentum notably shifted towards Usyk in the later rounds. According to official scores, Usyk claimed rounds eight, nine, and ten, crucially tipping the balance in his favor after Fury had a stronger opening. The ninth round was particularly decisive; Fury received a standing count after Usyk delivered a powerful series of overhand lefts, an action that later sparked controversy regarding the count’s pace.

Controversy Over the Count

The pace of the standing count given to Fury became a focal point post-match, with heavyweight Derek Chisora criticizing the referee’s timing on 5 Live Boxing with Steve Bunce. Chisora argued that the slow count could potentially damage the sport’s integrity, stating, “We need to talk about the slow count. That destroys boxing.” David Haye echoed this sentiment on TNT Sports, who noted an irregularity in the count, suggesting a potential lapse in refereeing.

Fury’s Perspective and Future Prospects

Despite the loss, Fury’s reflections post-match were filled with his typical bravado. He believed he had dominated the fight, particularly in the earlier rounds, stating, “I was having fun in there. I was playing around. I was loving it.” His perception of leading the bout was so strong that he and his corner did not feel the urgency to aggressively secure the final round, a decision that ultimately cost him the match.

This loss marks a significant moment in Fury’s career and boxing history, as Usyk solidifies his status with a win that aligns him with the legends of the sport. For Fury, this defeat might prompt a reassessment of his approach in future fights, especially considering his history of dramatic comebacks and resilience under pressure.

Conclusion

The fight between Fury and Usyk will be remembered for its outcome and the tactical nuances and controversies that influenced it. As the boxing community debates the implications of Fury’s loss, the focus on strategy, refereeing, and in-ring decisions remains more pertinent than ever. This bout serves as a reminder of the fine margins between victory and defeat in professional boxing.

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