Tyson Fury to Fight Alexander Ustinov After Dereck Chisora Withdrawal

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14:  Tyson Fury speaks during a press conference to announce the upcoming fight between Dereck Chisora And Tyson Fury on July 14, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Tyson Fury will fight Alexander Ustinov on Saturday night after the Belarusian super heavyweight agreed to take over the Manchester bout from the injured Dereck Chisora.

As tweeted by BBC Sport, the 37-year-old had some part to play in Fury's original opponent not making it to the Phones 4u Arena:

In typical Fury fashion, the British fighter immediately began to spurt trash toward Chisora once the Ustinov bout was confirmed. He also appeared to take a jab at his new opponent's lack of prominence across the world boxing rankings:

Ustinov is an experienced opponent but certainly faces an uphill task when trying to tackle Fury's 22-fight unbeaten professional record. He heads into the bout with 29 wins and one loss to his name, which came against Kubrat Pulev in Sept. 2012, per Boxrec.

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 16:  Alexander Ustinov celebrates betting David Tua during the bout between David Tua and Alexander Ustinov at Claudelands Arena on November 16, 2013 in Hamilton, New Zealand.  (Photo by Simon Watts/Getty Images)
Simon Watts/Getty Images

Fury has been intent on finding a replacement since Chisora's decision to pull out. In his haste, the giant slugger accidentally tweeted at Liverpool Ladies and England international Lucy Bronze (@LucyBronze), who he confused for Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber), reported by David Anderson of the Mirror.

Bronze saw the humorous side:

Questions will be raised as to whether Ustinov is also ready to fight. The powerful brawler is unlikely to be in top shape after coming into the contest so late and may see his sharpness deteriorate due to a lack of training.

Although he was obviously involved in Chisora's preparation—and may have been privy to his tactical setup—there's a difference between sparring and being fight-ready.

Fury has worked through an intensive camp and will only suffer on the strategical side of things.

Ustinov is six inches taller than Chisora and stands at just over 6'7", just an inch-and-a-half below Fury's 6'9" frame, noted by Boxrec. Fury will no longer possess an 11-inch reach advantage and may struggle to keep Ustinov at bay with jabs.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 15:  Tyson Fury of Great Britain in action with Joey Abell of USA during their International Heavyweight bout at The Copper Box on February 15, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

That said, the Russian-born fighter isn't the most agile. Fury can opt to tee off with a range of power shots in full knowledge his rival won't be able to get out of the way, a factor that could also be emphasised if Ustinov proves to be lacking core fitness.

Steve Lillis of BoxNation commends Fury's decision to switch it up at this stage of his preparation:

It's difficult to pin down exactly what type of fight the English crowd can expect, but when in form, Ustinov has the tools to trouble Fury.

This is particularly true if the home favourite's rejigged game plan isn't watertight. Fury is often berated for taking on those who simply cannot compete with his behemoth size, but his willingness to battle Ustinov in a moment's notice will change that.