Who will Tyson Fury face next?

When WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury made his ring-walk in front of more than 60,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier this month, most expected the man affectionately known as the ‘Gypsy King’ to make light work of his opponent Derek Chisora. The two men had already fought on two previous occasions, with Fury getting the better of Chisora by a unanimous points decision in the first bout, and technical knockout (TKO) in the second.

Couple that with the fact that Chisora had lost three of his last four fights in the lead-up to his showdown with Fury – and you can see why the announcement of this match-up was met with such backlash. Nevertheless, it went ahead and it finished exactly how most people felt it would – with Fury’s reach, class and precision punching making for a one-sided contest. The Gypsy King would eventually defeat his 38-year-old opponent in the tenth round, after the referee deemed that Chisora was unable to continue.

In what in hindsight seemed to be a fight that would allow Fury to stay busy – our attention now turns to who the 34-year-old will face next. With that in mind, given that Fury has voiced his intention to fight in the first quarter of 2023 – read on as we dissect his two likely opponents.

Oleksandr Usyk

The obvious opponent for Fury is WBA, IBF and WBO world champion Oleksandr Usyk – whose rise to prominence in the blue-riband division has been nothing short of exceptional. After beginning his campaign at heavyweight with solid wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Chisora – Usyk’s tests came against former two-time world champion Anthony Joshua. He passed with flying colours, outboxing the Watford-native in consecutive bouts to maintain his unbeaten record and establish himself as one of the pound-for-pound greats of the modern era.

Immediately after his wins over Joshua, Usyk was being linked with Fury for an undisputed clash next. It would mark the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era – and the first since Lennox Lewis achieved the feat in the three-belt era in the 90s. However, it appears as though if the two were to meet in 2023, it will be without the IBF belt on the line after the sanctioning body ordered Usyk to fight mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic next or risk being stripped.

While it would be disappointing if Fury and Usyk clash without undisputed status on the line – given the number of incredible match-ups boxing fans have been starved of in recent years – it still needs to happen whether it’s for all of the belts or not. One thing is for certain though, it would determine the best heavyweight of this era – which will be more than enough motivation for both men.

For those who partake in sports betting, at the time of writing, Fury has opened as the 1/2 favourite if he and Usyk were to fight, with the Ukrainian the underdog at 2/1.

Joe Joyce

If Fury can’t get the Usyk fight over the line, the Gypsy King stated that he would be willing to get in the squared circle with Queensberry Promotions stablemate Joe Joyce. The 37-year-old Joyce has had a rapid rise to notoriety over the past couple of years, with his technical knockout victory over up-and-coming prospect Daniel Dubois being the catalyst. He followed on from his win over the dangerous Dubois and secured a further three wins – two of which came against notable names Carlos Takam and former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.

While many believe Fury’s reach, footwork and ring nous will prove too difficult to overcome if the two were to face off – Joyce’s awkward style, granite chin and durability makes him a match-up nightmare for almost anyone in the world.

The sports betting tips currently have Fury winning that match-up comfortably, with the Sugar Hill-trained fighter garnering a short price of 1/5 – while Joyce is at 7/2.

Huynh Nguyen

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