- Undisputed heavyweight title fight agreed and signed
- Winner set to be first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four belt era
- Bout set for Saudi Arabia with December 23 a possible date
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have officially signed contracts for an undisputed world heavyweight title bout set to take place in Saudi Arabia. Previous talks had faltered earlier this year, but both champions have now come to an agreement to put all world titles on the line for this highly anticipated fight. While the exact date and venue are yet to be confirmed, this matchup promises to be a monumental event in the world of boxing.
Biggest boxing event of the century – Warren
While this is the bout that the boxing world wants to see, the timing is something of a surprise, as talks looked to have broken down. Fury, undefeated in 34 bouts since his professional debut in 2008, is set to face former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on October 28, risking his unbeaten record in the process. Usyk, on the other hand, recently defended his WBA, WBO, and IBF world titles with a stoppage win over Daniel Dubois in Poland last month.
“I do what I say. I say what I do. Undisputed. This is the Gypsy King era,” proclaimed Fury on Instagram.
“You can’t rabbit run anymore Usyk – you’re getting it.
“Thank you to the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]!”
The winner of this momentous bout between Fury and Usyk will be crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era. With Fury’s unbeaten streak and Usyk’s perfect record of 21 wins, this showdown promises to be a clash of titans.
Promoter Frank Warren of Queensbury shared his enthusiasm, stating, “This is the biggest fight that could possibly be made in our sport. The heavyweights always spark the imagination of the fans, and I have no doubt this will be the biggest boxing event of the century.”
Alexander Krassyuk, Usyk’s promoter, echoed the sentiment, expressing admiration for being part of such a historic fight and commending Tyson for his courage.
For boxing enthusiasts who have long awaited a showdown between the best of the best in the heavyweight division, this announcement is a dream come true. The Fury-Ngannou fight, featuring a boxing novice, had left some fans dissatisfied, but now, the question of who truly reigns as the top heavyweight boxer in the world will finally be answered.
Date not yet agreed but both sides target December 23
While the exact date remains uncertain, both sides are targeting December 23 for the showdown, which would leave Fury with just eight weeks to prepare after his bout with Ngannou. With Riyadh season extending until March, the fight could potentially take place anytime within the next six months. Until both fighters step into the ring and the first bell rings, some may still hold their reservations. However, should it go ahead, the bout will undoubtedly go down as a historic moment in the sport.
While Usyk has held world champion across two weight divisions, and is undefeated in 21 professional fights, Fury is the bookie’s favourite. Many feel that the sheer size and strength of the “Gypsy King” will see him through, Usyk being viewed as a fantastic allround boxer and Fury as a heavyweight specialist. Fury is also unbeaten in the professional ranks, with 33 wins and a draw against Deontay Wilder from his 34 bouts.
Usyk’s recent win over Dubois was not without controversy. While Usyk outpointed Dubois in every round before forcing a ninth round stoppage, in round five the Ukrainian dropped to the canvas following a punch from Dubois that was controversially ruled a low blow by referee Luis Pabon. Accordingly, Usyk was given a maximum of five minutes to recover, but despite declaring he was ready to continue, Pabon urged Usyk to take more time out. Usyk ultimately used three minutes and forty-five seconds before the fight resumed.
The last undisputed heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, believes that Usyk has a crucial advantage. Speaking on JOE, Lewis said:
“Usyk cannot be taken lightly, he’s the undisputed champion at cruiserweight and he hasn’t lost and when he trains for a fight and when he boxes for a fight, there is mental and physical involved so it’s going to be a great fight. He’s not going there to try and lose he’s going there to try and win so whatever he can do to win he will pull out all the stops. I think it’ll be a great fight,
“But he’s up against a different man because he’s not up against a 6 foot 7 guy, he’s up against a 6 foot 9 guy that boxes orthodox and southpaw and moves very well around the ring.
“I always says a good big guy always beats a good small guy, so there you have it.”
At the time of writing Unibet have Fury at 4/11, Usyk 21/10 with a draw 16/1. Bettors need to study the strengths and weaknesses of both fighters and monitor the build up to the fight.
Check out the UK’s best boxing betting sites at Betting.com.