Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is CONFIRMED for February 17 in Saudi Arabia… with the blockbuster undisputed heavyweight bout finally announced after more than a year of talks
- Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will meet in Saudi Arabia in February
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- Why Anthony Joshua’s next fight plan makes sense for his career: The Hook
Tyson Fury has confirmed he will fight Oleksandr Usyk in a blockbuster undisputed fight to take place in Saudi Arabia on February 17.
The WBC heavyweight world champion was scheduled to fight the Ukrainian, who holds the other three belts, on December 23 in the Kingdom.
However, the bout was postponed after the Gypsy King controversially beat former MMA star Francis Ngannou by split decision in Riyadh last month.
The verdict was widely panned within the boxing world and beyond, particularly as Ngannou, who was making his professional boxing debut, knocked Fury down in the third round.
The Briton survived the count and went on the secure a narrow win, with Usyk watching on ringside.
Tyson Fury has confirmed he will fight Oleksandr Usyk in a blockbuster undisputed fight on February 17
Speaking after the fight against Ngannou, promoter Frank Warren suggested the fight may take place at some point next year.
‘We were going to do it on 23 December. I doubt that will happen now,’ he told BBC 5Live Boxing podcast,
‘Tyson can’t be going into a camp after a tough fight like that. That’s eight weeks away.
‘He needs at least a bit of time to get himself, his body, back into shape. Let it heal. Then get into a camp. It will be on early next year.’
Fury, however, insisted the fight would go ahead as planned.
‘We have a contract that says the fight has to take place on 23 December. Let Fury vacate his title first, then he can take his rest,’ he told Boxing King Media.
But Warren’s prediction has proved correct, with the two heavyweight set to battle it out in Saudi Arabia next year.
Fury and Usyk had been in talks to fight last year before being locked in talks this March – with the Ukrainian even agreeing to a 70-30 split of the prize purse – though negotiations for the showdown were later abandoned.
Fury has held the WBC heavyweight world title since stopping Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in February 2020 and has since defended his belt three times
Usyk has held the WBA, IBF and WBO belts since dethroning Anthony Joshua by unanimous decision in London in September 2021, defending the title a second time in August
In September Fury’s team announced that a deal had finally been struck – with Warren claiming they had only done so to stop the news being leaked early.
‘That wasn’t done deliberately that was only done because we’d lodged the contracts with the IBF and we knew it would leak so we felt it would be better if it was leaked from us rather than elsewhere,’ he told Mail Sport.
‘I think [Fury] is a bit annoyed about that and I understand that but it’s done.’
Fury, (34-0-1, 24KO) has held the WBC heavyweight world title since stopping Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in February 2020 and has since defended his belt successfully three times.
He stopped Dyllian White in six rounds at Wembley in April last year and beat Derek Chisora in 10 rounds at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium eight months later.
Usyk (21-0, 14KO), meanwhile, has held the WBA, IBF and WBO belts since dethroning Anthony Joshua by unanimous decision in London in September 2021.
The Ukrainian has since defended his titles twice, defeating Joshua by split decision in Saudi Arabia last year and knocking out Daniel Dubois in August.
Whilst fans will have to wait until 2024 to watch their undoubtedly explosive contest, their vacated initial date of December 23 should provide a card of worthy substitutes.
At a press conference in London on Wednesday evening, a ‘Day of Reckoning’ was confirmed to take place in Saudi, with a co-main event of Anthony Joshua versus Otto Wallin, and Deontay Wilder against Joshua Parker.
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