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'I fear Tyson Fury is in decline – the Deontay Wilder trilogy took its toll on him'

Tyson Fury’s punishing trilogy against Deontay Wilder has hastened his decline, according to former British heavyweight rival David Price.

The Gypsy King will attempt to become the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night. But Price, who defeated Fury as an amateur, was left concerned by his performance against boxing novice Francis Ngannou last year, which the Wythenshawe fighter only just edged on points.

Price reckons his three fights against hard-hitting American Wilder took their toll. While Fury won their second meeting comfortably, the first, a draw, and the third, a thrilling victory, were absolute wars.

READ MORE: Only Englishman to ever beat Tyson Fury now has different career as heating engineer

READ MORE: I ended John Fury’s boxing career with savage KO – he's a good guy but wasn’t a puncher

“I was concerned [after the Ngannou fight] and I'm still concerned that he might have begun to decline,” said Price in association with Grosvenor Sport. “He's had a long pro career, he's won virtually every fight. But those Deontay Wilder wars 100% affected him and they might have tipped him over the edge.

“He is on the wrong side of 35 now. Age catches up with everyone and he’s probably got a lot of little niggling injuries that we don't know about, which probably have an effect on training and everything else.”

However, Price still expects Fury to get the job done against the Ukrainian, who at 37 is 18 months his senior. He added: “He probably is on the decline but he's still got big performances in him, that's for sure.

"I think Fury’s going to find a way to win. I think he may be behind on the scorecards going into the second

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk