The Biggest Heavyweight Title Fight Since Ali-Frazier I? Warren Says Fury-Usyk Is “Boxing’s World Cup”
For so many people, the epic, never to be forgotten “Fight of The Century” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier is and always will be THE biggest, most special world heavyweight title fight of them all. It was way back in March of 1971 when Frazier, unbeaten and holding a genuine claim to the throne, met Ali, also unbeaten and also holding a genuine claim to the title, inside a rocking and reeling Madison Square Garden in New York.
The fight lived up to all the hype, even surpassing it. The fight remains the benchmark all big world heavyweight title fights are judged by. For some, Ali-Frazier III, “The Thrilla in Manila,” topped the first epic, this due to the sheer hell both men went through in providing such relentless, savage action. Some scribes, who should know better, said they felt the 2017 battle between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko topped the epic splendour of Ali-Frazier. But there hasn’t in reality been any world heavyweight title fight to better Ali-Frazier I or Ali-Frazier III. This is just a fact.
But Frank Warren, who has been around and has seen many mega-fights, says a Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk fight would, if it happens, be the biggest world heavyweight title fight since Ali-Frazier I. Warren didn’t say Usyk-Fury would be a ‘better’ fight in terms of action, but the promoter says the four-belt unification showdown would be the biggest heavyweight fight since that world-stopping fight of ’71.
Speaking with Talk Sport, Warren said he feels the Fury-Usyk fight will happen, that it has to happen. “We will make it happen,” Warren said.
“Do I think it will be made? Yes I do,” Warren said of Fury-Usyk. “Usyk’s team and the fighter said immediately after the [Joshua return] fight he wants it. I know Tyson wants it. Myself and Bob Arum, we want it. It will just be how we make it work financially. There will be big demands from both boxers, and rightly so. This is a unique event. This is the biggest heavyweight title fight since Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier. It’s a huge fight because both are undefeated, all the belts are there to be won. A lot of people have split opinion on who will win, which is great. This is boxing’s World Cup, or blue ribbon event.”
Let’s not get into whether or not Usyk-Fury is bigger than Ali-Foreman, the fact is, this is THE fight to make right now, regardless of weight class. Two boxing masters, each blessed with astonishing skill and talent, both never having tasted a pro loss – the first four-belt unification fight in heavyweight history. In terms of today, no fight is bigger than this one.
Let’s hope Warren’s firm words, “we will make it happen,” come true. The older fight fans of the world will always have their special, once-in-a-lifetime fight to look back on and cherish with Ali-Frazier. Now it’s time we had ours.