Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury Picks, Predictions, and Odds: Power Punch

It's been a long time coming, but Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury will finally meet in the ring with the winner being declared the undisputed heavyweight champion. Our boxing expert believes this fight will end in a knockout, but who will be the one celebrating at the end?

Danny Howard - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Danny Howard • Betting Analyst
May 18, 2024 • 14:59 ET • 4 min read
Tyson Fury Boxing
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk is our premier boxing betting attraction, and the undisputed heavyweight champion will be crowned in the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Tonight, boxing will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis 24 years ago, and the first of the four-belt era.

Usyk vs Fury odds currently have Fury listed as a slight -130 favorite, while Usyk is only a +110 underdog. Here are my best free picks for Fury vs. Usyk predictions from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 18. 

Usyk vs Fury prediction and pick

Fight analysis

Since Oleksandr Usyk made his name in the heavyweight division, Fury has long warned that he'd be a terrible matchup for the former cruiserweight champion. It's easy to forget Fury's advantages in this fight, considering how awful he looked against Francis Ngannou last October; he seemed to have come off the couch from an extended Netflix binge. But this is Fury's fight to lose.

There is no way Fury comes in anything less than 100% prepared for this fight, and he'll be coming in with an added chip on his shoulder in an attempt to erase the Ngannou disaster. It wouldn't surprise me if Fury comes out looking as sharp and trim as he did ahead of his second fight with Deontay Wilder, aggressively pursuing a smaller fighter who does not possess the same kind of power to keep him honest. Because Usyk will rely on guile, not grit, Fury is going to be the attacker and won't make the mistake Anthony Joshua did against Usyk in being conservative with his offense.

As good as Usyk is, he'll be going up against a fighter with the size advantage and mobility that few modern heavyweights are equipped to handle. Yes, Usyk beat Joshua twice, but Joshua's reliance on landing a single shot and boxing with Usyk essentially handed both fights to him. Fury's movement and awkwardness will give the technically sound Usyk fits, and any attempts to take the fight to Fury on the inside run the risk of Usyk having someone with a 50-60 pound weight advantage leaning on him and landing short, debilitating punches.

Usyk has struggled against fighters who can give him pause, as evident in his sophomore heavyweight fight versus Derek Chisora. He is technically sound but hittable, and his chin has been able to withstand big shots from heavy-handed fighters at cruiserweight and heavyweight. The key to Usyk's success, and Fury's main target, will be utilizing his movement and staying fresh enough to land meaningful blows for the whole 12 rounds.

Even if Usyk gets away with it for a few rounds, it is a hard ask for him to fight a virtually perfect fight against an opponent who has a physical and stylistic advantage over him. Fury's blows can keep him at bay, and Usyk will be taking a risk to get in position to get hit by a flush right hand or getting clinched before resetting. I'd venture that Usyk doesn't have to be at his best to beat any other heavyweight in the division currently, but his best won't be enough against a motivated Fury.

Pick: Fury Moneyline (-120 at DraftKings)

Best best analysis

Recent training footage shows that Fury is in top shape, and once he can cut the ring off to trap Usyk, it will be a matter of time before he mauls him. Whether they trade punches or Fury can tie Usyk up and wear down his legs, every outcome points to Fury putting him in serious trouble. Usyk was never the heaviest hitter at cruiserweight, and at heavyweight, he still relies more on accumulation than brute force. 

The lack of one-shot power and the reliance on a skill-based strategy invites Fury to take more chances and use every bit of that long reach and height to walk Usyk down. Usyk tends to be vulnerable to the body, and if Fury opts to sit back and see if Usyk can chase him down, he’ll potentially wear down under Fury’s long shots and clinches. Fury is an evasive fighter with good upper body movement and footwork, and one bad read by Usyk could lead to a crushing uppercut that splits the guard and puts him out.

All signs point to a crushing end for the 37-year-old Usyk, who will be no lesser a fighter in defeat. Fury is the best heavyweight of his generation, and there’s no one around yet ready for the different dimensions he brings into the ring. He’ll drop and pummel Usyk on the way to a knockout win.

Pick: Fury to win by knockout (+300 at DraftKings)

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury odds

Method of victory Oleksandr Usyk Tyson Fury
Win outright +110 -130
Win by KO/TKO +500 +270
Win by points or decision +200 +210
Draw +1,400 +1,400

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of 5-18.

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury tale of the tape

Usyk   Fury
37 Age 35
6-feet-3 Height 6-feet-9
220lbs Weight 245 lbs
78 inches Reach 85 inches
21-0 Record 34-0-1

Not intended for use in MA.
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