Tyson Fury backed to quit boxing on one condition after Oleksandr Usyk fight

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off during the Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk Press Conference at Outernet London on November 16, 2023 in London, England
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will face off this weekend -Credit:Getty Images

Former cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson believes Tyson Fury could retire after Saturday's undisputed title fight against Oleksandr Usyk - if he suffers a "devastating defeat".

The Gypsy King will face Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this weekend as he aims to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

Heading into the bout, Fury has revealed a leaner physique than the one he sported against Francis Ngannou in October as he weighed in at a career-high of 277 pounds. Nelson, though, believes Fury's fight against Usyk, the 36th of his career, could be the final time he steps in the ring if the Ukrainian can inflict just a second career defeat on the 35-year-old.

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“If it’s a bad, devastating loss, Tyson Fury walks away,” Nelson told BetVictor. “Tyson is an emotional animal. A bad loss to Oleksandr Usyk will destroy Tyson. Tyson is the boss of his team. Frank Warren doesn’t tell Tyson what to do.

“He has made a lot of money, but he’ll be frustrated with himself if he loses to Usyk on Saturday night. It will break him, it will break his heart.”

However, fighter-turned-pundit Nelson is backing Fury to defeat WBA, IBF and WBO champion Usyk, who has emerged victorious from bouts with Anthony Joshua, Derek Chisora, Daniel Dubois and Tony Bellew as part of his upward trajectory since 2018.

“Usyk is a clever, pressure fighter that’s pressuring you without you even realising it. You work at a pace you don’t want to work at and that’s what he’ll do with Tyson," added Nelson.

“Tyson’s got to use his height, weight, and reach to try and lean on Usyk and bully him, push him back. I believe Usyk is better offensively than defensively so if Tyson believes in himself enough, he needs to make this guy fight on the back foot and that’s where I would lean to being in Tyson’s favour.

“I think this is going to be a tight, controversial, chess match between two clever fighters. The referee is going to have a hard job if he doesn’t keep a hold of this.

“It’s going to be a good fight. I can see knockdowns, but I can’t see it ending in a knockout. I think Tyson wins in a close, controversial points win. The best version of Tyson Fury beats Oleksandr Usyk and he should get the job done.”