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Fury vs. Usyk Fight Missed by Millions in the UK

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Millions of people missed out on watching the fight of the century live on TV or listening to it live on radio as the BBC failed to secure the rights to the fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Uysk despite efforts to do so in Saudi Arabia. It left the biggest fight in the last 25-years without any UK TV or radio coverage. 

The fight between Fury and Uysk was covered by Sky Sports, with fans having to pay a one-off fee of £24.99 via DAZN PPV, Sky Sports Box Office or TNT Sports Box Office for the opportunity to watch the fight.  

Usually TalkSport would have been the alternative radio station covering an event like this, but it has been reported that the station has a difficult relationship with Fury.  

A report in the Times also claims Saudi promoters have taken issue with the commercial station raising questions over Saudi Arabia as a boxing venue.  

The great news is that Sky Sports provided the highlights the following day. Many watched the big fight using Watch Alongs, which have become a popular way of viewing live events with an exclusive pass to view tickets. 

What is a Watch Along? 

A Watch Along is where someone or a group of people pay to watch a live pay-to-view event and stream their reactions to that event. They are not allowed to show the live video or stream the live audio. 

TalkSport covered the event with a Watch Along and at one point, host Adam Catterall said that over 54,000 people had joined the live stream. 

There were complaints that the panel, which included Spencer Oliver, Sunny Edwards, and Adam Smith, was not commentating but rather only reacting with oohs and ahhs. That is exactly what they were supposed/allowed to do. 

TalkSport Watch Along stream featured reactions from Spencer Oliver, Sunny Edwards, and Adam Smith. (Image: TalkSport Watch Along FB page)

U.S. promoter Bob Arum has indicated that Fury could walk away with over $100 million. This sum represents 70 percent of the total purse, suggesting that Uysk would earn approximately $30 million.  

Disrespect and Foolish Antics Came Back to Haunt the Gypsy King

Fury was the favourite to win at 1/1 but Uysk gave a remarkable performance and dominated the majority of the fight, despite some great work by Fury. 

Fury vs. Usyk Odds

Result

Best Odds

Implied Probability

Fury

1/1

50%

Uysk

5/4

44%

Draw

14/1

7%

In a post-match interview, Uysk said that he had focused on the fight for nine months, missing out on being at many important events with his family, including birthdays and the birth of his daughter.  

Name Calling by Fury Backfired 

The Gypsy King fooled around and taunted Uysk during the build up to and during the fight. Fury had disrespected the Ukrainian with comments calling him a ‘sausage’.  

Following the Ukrainian’s win by a split decision, the internet was full of people asking “Who’s the sausage now?” 

Fury’s walk in was another attempt at mind games, from the song choice to the singalong and the run to Uysk’s corner before the fight had even begun. In contrast, the Ukrainian entered the arena calmly, laser focussed on the ring ahead without the over-the-top showmanship, which, in hindsight, sounded the intent for what might happen in the ring.  

Tribute to Late Father  

In a post-fight interview, Uysk paid tribute to his late father, becoming very emotional and saying that he missed him. Fighting back tears, he said he thought of his father and that he knew his father was there. He also thanked his church and those who had prayed for him. 

Oleksandr Uysk post match interview

An emotional Oleksandr Usyk pays tribute to his late father during a post-fight interview. (Image: Francisco Seco/Alamy)

Like Father, Like Son

Fury’s father also hit the headlines before the fight after headbutting a young member of the Ukrainian entourage, leaving many on social media asking when the former boxer would learn some respect. 

A long running feud between Fury’s father and another former boxer, Joe Egan, has been playing out on social media, with Egan demanding that Fury step into the ring with him so that he could teach him some manners. 

The Quiet Man Kept His Promise and a Rapper Lost a Fortune

The boxing world has changed in that domain and has moved a long way from the grace and gentlemanly behaviour of the likes of Muhammad Ali. It may be no small coincidence that Uysk shares the same birthday as the world’s greatest boxer of all time. Ultimately, it may be what the fans want. 

The rematch between Fury and Uysk is scheduled for October 2024. Perhaps this time around, Fury will offer Uysk a little more respect, given that his antics in and out of the ring did not pay off.   

Many would have lost substantial amounts of cash by backing Fury. One of the highest profile bets was by the rapper Drake, who lost $565,000 by betting on Tyson Fury to win. It is not the first time the  Toronto musician has backed the loser. 

Drake’s belief in the Gypsy King cost him dearly because it was the quieter, dignified Ukranian who remained laser-focused, said, ‘ Let the hands do the talking,’ and took the title of the ‘Undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World’ as he promised in his last words of the pre-match interviews. 

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