Oleksandr Usyk has a humorous and unusual way of taunting the fighters he is set to go head-to-head with. In short, the Ukrainian will release a string of clips in the lead-up to a particular bout and in them, he will somewhat bizarrely repeat one word aimed at his next opponent. For instance, before he went toe to toe with Derek Chisora, he would merely shout Derek over and over again while in the gym or even canoeing, as he did on one occasion. As peculiar as it is, in contrast to some of the usual below-the-belt taunting fans typically experience before a fight, it can be considered fairly tame and as touched on, even comical. 

Usyk needs to find any advantage he can as Fury remains the overwhelming favourite  

Unsurprisingly, the 36-year-old has adopted the same unique approach as he gets ready to fight Tyson Fury in a match that is set to go ahead in early March. Revealingly, the best sports betting sites in the US offering welcome bonuses price Fury as the overwhelming favourite. The aforementioned bookmakers that include bet365 and DraftKings, who are renowned for their large deposit bonuses and free bets offered to new sports fans, have listed Fury at 4/9 to win the bout. Ultimately, what this price tells us is that Usyk will have to use any advantage he can find to overcome the odds, including the use of his trademark mind games.

On this occasion, Usyk has settled on the word ‘belly’ whenever he addresses Fury through his social media channels.

What could Usyk be trying to achieve?

Ultimately, it’s quite harmless and a bit of fun, however, it is also a useful way for Usyk to create doubt in Fury’s head about the fact that the Ukrainian may possess greater levels of stamina which could be crucial if this fight goes to the judges’ scorecard. The boxing world did, after all, see Usyk’s brutal assault on Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021 when the Ukrainian went through the gears with devastating effect after the tenth round.

This perfectly timed onslaught on a tiring and bewildered Joshua would prove to be enough as the judges awarded the Ukrainian a famous victory.

In essence, this is a man whose superior fitness levels combined with his powers of concentration make him an opponent who is at his best at the end of a fight. It is this message that Usyk and his camp are surely trying to convey to Fury in order to leave him in two minds about his fight strategy.


What remains to be seen is whether Fury will take heed of Usyk’s clinical record in the closing stages by going after the Ukrainian in an attempt to secure an early knockout. Tellingly, five of Fury’s last six fights have been won by way of KO or TKO which clearly illustrates that he has the required power in his hands to send any fighter on the planet to the canvas. But this is where it also begins to get interesting as Fury won recent fights against Chisora and Deontay Wilder only after the tenth round had started. In other words, Fury is as dangerous in the closing stages of a bout and often tends to drop his hands in a breathtaking display of showmanship in an effort to bring the fight to a spectacular end.

What this essentially points to is Fury taking no notice of Usyk’s attempts to get him to expel his energy in the early rounds and instead, patiently waiting for the Ukrainian to go on the front foot before trying to deliver his fifth consecutive knockout.