Malik Scott does not think Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight champion, is a walk in the park for WBC titleholder Tyson Fury. On the contrary.
The trainer of Deontay Wilder, Scott recently stated that he believes the Ukrainian southpaw would stand a good chance of defeating Fury in a potential fight, a somewhat surprising prediction given that Scott witnessed Fury hand his charge two devastating losses in a row.
Fury met Wilder in the ring for the third time this past summer in a barnburner that ended with Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) knocking out the hard-hitting Alabaman in the 11th round.
“I don’t think it’s far-fetched that he beats Fury at all,” Scott told Declan Taylor of Boxing News. “He’s extremely stubborn…He’s fought big guys and beaten them before.”
Scott believes Fury’s athleticism isn’t what it once was, giving Usyk the window he needs to score a win.
“You’ve also got to think this is the best time for Usyk to fight Fury,” Scott said. “Fury isn’t fast no more, he doesn’t have reflexes like he used to.”
“The style he is fighting with right now, believe it or not, it works perfect for Usyk to win that fight,” Scott continued. “If there’s anyone that can box with Usyk it’s the younger Fury, the Wladimir Klitschko Fury. But this new Fury works perfect for Usyk. Don’t be surprised if Usyk becomes undisputed champion and beats Fury next year.”
Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, made headlines after he defeated Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) on points in September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Usyk landed numerous straight left hands, several of which had the much bigger Joshua buzzed.
“How’s Fury going to deal with it when he’s getting hit by Usyk, when he realizes this guy can punch harder than he expected?” Scott said. “How’s he going to deal with that? We’ll see. But I won't be shocked at all if Usyk beats him. It’s almost expected by me.”
Part of Scott’s confidence in his prediction comes out of the fact that he spent time with Usyk in training camp; Scott is a former heavyweight contender.
“Deontay and Tyson shook up the heavyweight division with their trilogy but Usyk is on the move too,” Scott said. “He’s not good, he’s great. I’ve been to his training camp; it’s half zoo, half forest. The ring is so small, the smallest ring in the world. And when they told me he used that ring to get ready to fight Murat Gassiev it told me who he is as a man. He makes himself extremely uncomfortable during training camp which makes it easy for him on fight night.
“When you see him calm, cool, and relaxed in what is supposed to be the fight of his life, it’s because he just left a Hell zoo training camp. The fight is easy for him.”