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Ben Davison Explains Why The Delay Has Worked In Tyson Fury’s Favor

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Ben Davison believes that Tyson Fury is reaping the rewards of the postponements of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

On Saturday at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – six months after they were originally scheduled to – they will finally contest the undisputed heavyweight title.

Fury’s struggles in victory over Francis Ngannou in October meant that plans for him to fight Usyk in December were delayed until February. When he then suffered a cut in sparring their fight date was postponed again, and having been overweight and poorly conditioned for Ngannou, just days before fighting Usyk he looks healthy and, by comparison, light.

Davison guided Fury from retirement into the remarkable comeback with which he was unfortunate not to be awarded victory in a dramatic draw with Deontay Wilder. He then oversaw victories over Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, but during that over Wallin, and at a time when there were suggestions that he was too light, Fury ultimately struggled after being cut.

It was after the victory over Wallin that Fury and Davison separated, but the 35-year-old Fury continues to speak positively of his impact on his career and will be aware that their time together means that the trainer knows him better than most.

Davison is in Riyadh working for the first time with the promising Moses Itauma, who fights Ilja Mezencev on the undercard of the year’s most significant fight, and having seen Fury up close he believes that the WBC champion is at his best. 

“The delay’s worked in his favour,” he said. “The fact that he got cut in the sparring is potentially a sign that he probably lost the weight quite quickly following the Ngannou fight.

“That’s something I’ve noticed. How his skin looks now and how he looks now tells me he’s in better condition at that weight now.

“[His strengths are his] versatility. His size. His temperament. His mentality. He’s got lots and lots and lots of strengths, and that’s why he’s achieved what he’s achieved. I don’t want to go into his weaknesses – that would be unfair because I know him well. I wouldn’t want to do that. It’s down to the teams to prepare well enough to exploit each other’s weaknesses.

“[Usyk’s] got a very high IQ. He’s very fast at processing. Things can be happening in the ring at a high tempo and he’d able to process that information and make those adjustments at a high tempo. 

“[He’s] phenomenal. Both the guys are phenomenal – that’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re all here, and it’s such a big event.

“A fight [with Usyk is one] I’d love to get the chance to do with Anthony Joshua again, so I’m not gonna talk on his weaknesses, ‘cause that’s a fight that I would love. I’m confident of being able to help ‘AJ’ put that right.”

Saturday’s fight is not only a fight between the world’s two finest heavyweights – the 37-year-old Usyk is the IBF, WBA and WBO champion – but the most intelligent heavyweights of the modern era, whose abilities to adapt could yet define what unfolds.

“That’s going to be interesting to find out,” Davison explained. “I think there’ll be ebbs and flows; there’ll be adjustments; there’ll be spells of them boxing with each other and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the better of that battle. 

“It depends how both guys approach the fight and how the longer periods of the fight are spent. I think that, if there’s big periods when they’re trying to box each other, the person who’s better prepared and quicker to process may end up getting the better of that. 

“However, if there’s long periods of them fighting up close and at a high tempo and it being quite an attritional fight, then the fighter with the better physicality and the better mentality will probably get the better of that. There’ll be ebbs and flows and you’ll see a bit of everything on Saturday night.”

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