Oleksandr Usyk


The undefeated heavyweight made a prediction for the title fight between Usyk and Fury

Undefeated Croatian heavyweight boxer Filip Hrgovic has made a prediction for the heavyweight title fight between Alexander Usyk and Tyson Fury.

According to the unbeaten Croatian boxer, who is one of the potential opponents for the winner of the battle, the victory will go to the Ukrainian.

“I believe Usyk will win this bout. I give him the edge in this fight. My prediction is that Usyk will emerge victorious. Of course, it’s a tough matchup for him. It’s a tough fight for both, but that’s my forecast. In my view, Usyk is the more polished fighter. So, let’s see,” Hrgovic said in an interview with the YouTube channel J Calderon Boxing Talk.

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The bout between Usyk and Fury is scheduled to take place on May 18th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Initially, the championship bout was planned for February 17th but was postponed due to a cut that the Briton sustained in training camp.

Vitali Klitschko brutally tells Tyson Fury what he needs to do to beat Oleksandr Usyk

Vitali Klitschko has brutally told Tyson Fury what he needs to do to beat Oleksandr Usyk.

WBC title holder Fury meets WBO, WBA (super) and IBF champion Usyk on May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fury suffered a nasty cut in training which stopped them from fighting last month.

After the postponement, footage surfaced online of the incident that led to the devastating cut.

Both fighters have agreed to forfeit a whopping £10 million if they withdraw from their upcoming clash.

Ahead of Fury facing Usyk, Klitschko has given the British star advice on how to beat the Ukrainian fighter.

Speaking to filmmaker Andrew Drury, the 52-year-old joked Fury must stay off junk food, alcohol and drugs.

The former world heavyweight champion said: “Not so much junk food, no alcohol, no drugs and good prepare for this fight.”

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Fury ballooned up in weight during his hiatus from boxing.

But he turned his life around and beat Deontay Wilder to become world champion.

The self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ has the chance to secure undisputed status in the heavyweight division.

On Fury vs. Usyk, Klitschko, who held the WBC world heavyweight title during his legendary career, added: “Everybody expect very dramatic interesting fight, but nobody in the world can predict the decision of this fight. It’s heavyweight division, every punch make a decision.

“And that’s why it will be biggest mistake to say who will be the winner. Yes, of course I keep my fingers crossed for Usyk.

“I hope Usyk will be winner in this fight and bring WBC belt back to Ukraine. But let’s see.”

Fury heads into his clash with Usyk having eked out a controversial decision victory over former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou last October.

As for Usyk, he hasn’t fought since last August when he stopped Daniel Dubois.

Francis Ngannou is a big risk for Anthony Joshua and boxing world is divided on fighters with immense knockout power – here’s who they see winning

Most experts are backing Anthony Joshua to overcome Francis Ngannou next week but a few brave ones are going against the grain.

On March 8, two of the hardest hitters from the worlds of MMA and boxing collide at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Joshua will be bidding to save boxing’s reputation after the Cameroonian cage fighter dropped and almost stopped Tyson Fury during their nip-and-tuck affair in October.

Ahead of the Fury fight few gave Ngannou even the slimmest chance of victory but many felt he had done enough to win it when the final bell sounded.

It’s a similar story here, with most anticipating that Joshua, a two-time unified heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist, should get the better of the boxing novice – although not everyone agrees.

Here, talkSPORT.com takes a look at some stand-out industry picks for Joshua vs Ngannou.

Who is backing Ngannou?

Dan Hardy

Former UFC welterweight contender Dan Hardy was one of the few experts who stuck his neck out and picked Ngannou to ‘surprise’ Fury.

And, he was equally insistent on Ngannou’s chances against Joshua when he caught up with talkSPORT.come earlier this week.

“First of all, he’s got the confidence that he can do 10 rounds now after doing 10 rounds against Fury, which means that we’re going to get a Ngannou who is going to be more willing to engage and more willing to push a pace.

tyson fury, anthony joshua,francis ngannou,deontay wilder

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“Rather than kind of stand his ground and pick his punches like he did against Fury.

“I feel like he’s going to be a bit more of a bully against AJ. And I don’t think that works out very well for AJ because you’ve got to remember he’s in the process of rebuilding himself right now.

“Ngannou is 0-1 in professional boxing, and he’s a huge, huge risk for AJ. Now, Fury is going to look at that risk and go ‘yeah, okay, but I’ve got the skills, I’ll be able to tie him up and make him miss, etc, etc.

“I don’t know as AJ has got that same kind of internal confidence that just emanates from him like it does from Fury.

“And I think if, for example, AJ hits the canvas like Fury did, does he get back up with the same kind of confidence to be able to regroup? I’m not so sure.”

Martin Bakole

You will be hard-pressed to find boxers who are genuinely backing Ngannou to beat Joshua but one of them is Congolese heavyweight Martin Bakole.

Bakole has shared several rounds of sparring with Joshua over the years but he is backing Ngannou to knock the Brit out after watching the Fury fight.

“He [Fury] took Ngannou easy, not too serious. He thought he would stop him by round five but Ngannou took it serious and thought that if he stops Tyson Fury he will make a name for himself in boxing.

“To be honest, Joshua is going to be different [to Fury] because Joshua saw Ngannou was coming to box [versus Fury] as well, he will take it serious.

“He is a good man, he has got a good heart and he’s got everything up there, if he lands on Joshua, I think that he will stop him because this time he is taking it seriously as well and he will be working hard on it [his boxing skills].”

anthony joshua

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Who is backing Joshua?

Ricky Hatton

Ricky Hatton believes Joshua has ‘enough firepower’ to shine against Ngannou.

“If you’re asking where my money would go, it would go on AJ because he’s an exceptional boxer, you don’t become an Olympic gold medalist and a two-time world champion for nothing,” he said.

“He doesn’t have the lateral movement of Tyson Fury, so he’s going to be standing in front of Francis Ngannou, which worries me a little bit because if AJ does cop one, that could be that.

“But I’m going to go with AJ based on his confidence and his new team. I think he’ll have enough firepower to shine against Ngannou.”

Amir Khan

Amir Khan expects Joshua to learn from Fury’s mistakes and get the better of Ngannou.

“I don’t know if Tyson took his foot off the gas, not expecting what he came to do,” Khan told the Sun.

“So I’m sure he’s going to be on his A-game. He’s not going to make the same mistakes and he’s going to train very hard for this fight.

“Because like I said, maybe Tyson overlooked him and thought it was going to be a walk in the park but really he surprised us all.

“So I think this is only going to make Joshua train even harder. But, I got Joshua winning.

Johnny Nelson

Johnny Nelson is extremely confident that Joshua will do the business next week.

“I think he [Joshua] comes through it with flying colours,” Nelson told Sky Sports.

“I think Joshua wants to be world champion again, I think Joshua knows what responsibility he will have. He will know ‘I just have to get through this fight and get the win’ because of the big pot of gold at the end of it.

“Joshua knows he can punch. Joshua knows he has the knockout ability to get rid of him so I would not be surprised if Anthony Joshua thought ‘I am going to stay in the pocket and knock you out’.

“Common sense would be, if you use your boxing ability, it is day and night. But it is the devil in the detail and that is where the problem might lie.”

Agron Smakici I cut Tyson Fury’s eye and caused Oleksandr Usyk fight to be postponed – he provoked me with ‘dirty moves’

At the start of February, the Gypsy King was forced to postpone his undisputed heavyweight world title clash with Oleksandr Usyk from February 17 to May 18 after suffering a gash in sparring.

This was caused by Croatian sparring partner Smakici, who joined White and Jordan on talkSPORT on Thursday to reflect on the situation.

“Nothing special happened,” he explained, “We had a good sparring session all day before that.

“It’s just he put some fire with some bad talking and some dirty moves.

“When my head was down he did some dirty tricks and that makes the fire, the heat going on.

“And then I gave 100 per cent of me and the injury happened unfortunately…

“He said some things, but it’s not so much what he said. He put my head down.

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“Even if I put his head many times down because I have good wrestling skills, he put my head down one time and he was doing like bad things with my head if you know what I mean.”

Smakici did not specify exactly what gestures Fury made with his head.

There has been some controversy as to whether the blow which cut Fury was actually an elbow.

However, Smakici is adamant this is not the case.

“I am 100 per cent sure it was my first,” he insisted.

“Also after the cut he didn’t say, ‘Hey that was an elbow,’ or something like that.

“There’s a difference between an elbow and gloves with a fist – you would feel the elbow, it’s like a hammer.

“Maybe it slipped because he was pulling my head forwards.

“Maybe it slipped to the elbow, but it wasn’t on purpose.”

‘Most avoided heavyweight on the planet’ will be a nightmare for Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk

As promoter of Boxxer, Ben Shalom looks after some of boxing’s most exciting fighters. Here, in his second exclusive column for talkSPORT.com, he talks about one in particular…

Martin Bakole is the most avoided man in the glamour division and can beat every heavyweight on the planet on his day.

Bakole showed just how good he is against Carlos Takam in September.

He came in extremely overweight, having picked up an injury that had made it difficult for him to train, yet he still managed to blast the Frenchman out in four rounds.

Seven months earlier, we had witnessed Takam roll back the years by destroying Tony Yoka in Paris.

This was supposed to be a tough night on paper, but Bakole made it look easy.


The Congolese puncher is an incredibly dangerous fight for anyone at his weight.

He has all of the physical attributes needed to reach the top of the sport.

His stamina is excellent, he’s extremely strong and on top of all of that, he is a very good boxer.

It’s only a matter of time before he will be dining at the top table with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

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Without a doubt, he causes all of them real problems. They all know what a hard night’s work he will be.

If you asked them what they thought of him, they would agree that he has everything.

He’s not someone who is going to be easily outclassed by Usyk, he’s not someone that Fury can lean on and dictate with his size and he’s not someone that Joshua can blow away.


He matches anyone for boxing ability. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how he beats every one of them individually, that’s for his team to work out.

But what I will say is that none of them will want to fight Bakole.

He is probably at the top of their lists for nights they don’t want to have which is the biggest compliment you can pay to a fighter.

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Beyond that Manuel Charr is fighting Kubrat Pulev for the ‘Regular’ belt so there are opportunities in the WBA.

I know Bakole is eyeing up the 50th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle in Congo this year.

He is undoubtedly the biggest Congolese fighter on the planet so there are some personal goals for him to achieve as well.