Following the cancellation of a planned December 23. heavyweight championship fight between WBC champion, Tyson Fury, and fellow divisional gold holder, Oleksandr Usyk, the unification showdown between the two division elites is now slated for February 17. in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Fury, the incumbent WBC heavyweight champion, was expected to fight Ukraine champion and fan-favorite, Usyk in an end-of-year title unification fight in the Middle East, following his professional boxing match against former UFC heavyweight gold holder and mixed martial arts star, Francis Ngannou in Riyadh last month.
Landing a close and hugely controversial split decision win over the Cameroonian knockout artist, Morecambe native, Fury, who suffered a third round knockdown against Ngannou, also was left dealing with significant swelling and lacerations following the surprising showdown.
And as a result, a planned unification bout between Fury and Usyk was almost immediately scrapped by the Brit’s promoter, Frank Warren, who confirmed the bout would now instead take place next year.
Tyson Fury – Oleksandr Usyk now set to fight on February 17. in Saudi Arabia
According to a report from ESPN tonight, Fury’s championship unification fight with Usyk will now instead take place on February 17. next – with the pairing remaining in tact for Saudi Arabia.
“The Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship will take place on Feb. 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, sources told ESPN,” Mike Coppinger posted on X. “Fight was originally planned for Dec. 23 before Fury’s far tougher-than-expected battle wih Francis Ngannou.”
Himself sidelined since August of this year, Usyk, 36, improved to 21-0 as a professional, defending his WBA, IBF, IBO, and WBO heavyweight championships with an eventual ninth round knockout win over British heavyweight challenger, Daniel Dubois.
In 2021 and 2022, Usyk would land championship victories over another British heavyweight talent, Anthony Joshua – first in a title win and a subsequent successful championship defense.
Who wins in the unification title fight: Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk