Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk

Fury vs Usyk: SEVEN titles, two boxing greats and one INCREDIBLE fight

Boxing has its fight of the century so far on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia, and Furyjoshua.com gives you the lowdown on what should be an historic occasion.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will do battle in Riyadh on Saturday night with boxing immortality the prize.

Fury (34-0-1) and Usyk (21-0) will face off in the Kingdom Arena, bidding to become the sport’s first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis way back in 1999.

It is exactly a quarter of a century since the fight game’s marquee weight class had just one ruler, and this tantalising showdown should be worth the wait.

This is your guide to what should be an epic night in the desert as ‘The Gypsy King’ and the Ukrainian genius get it on at last.

The titles - what exactly is at stake?

For the first time in boxing’s four-belt era (there are now four recognised sanctioning bodies), every single one will be on the line in a heavyweight fight.

Fury is the WBC king, while Usyk holds the IBF, WBA and WBO world titles. But it doesn’t stop there when it comes to baubles and bragging rights.

Usyk’s Ring magazine title, and Fury’s moniker as lineal heavyweight king (the man who beat the man), will also be up for grabs. As will the title of undisputed champion (with a special belt to mark the occasion).

So we make that SEVEN titles in total - absolutely ridiculous.


Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk

The odds: too close to call

This time last year, Fury was a firm favourite for a Usyk matchup - but not any more.

That lacklustre performance against pro boxing novice Francis Ngannou last October started a slide for ‘The Gypsy King’, with significant support growing for Usyk.

As we move closer to fight night, this is now virtually a ‘pick em’ affair, with Sky Bet going 5-6 Fury, Evens Usyk and 14/1 the draw.

The draw absolutely should be an option for you here as well, with two technically brilliant fighters who could produce a fight which is very difficult to score.

History would also be on your side - remember that the first meeting between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield back in 1999 ended in a hugely controversial stalemate at Madison Square Garden.


The records - how do Fury and Usyk match up?

Fury, man mountain that he is, has always been a heavyweight - and he remains an unbeaten one.

The 35-year-old from Morecambe boasts a 34-0-1 record (with 24 KOs) in his pro career with that 2018 draw against Deontay Wilder the only slight blot. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 and then Wilder in their 2020 rematch to become king.

Usyk meanwhile has a quite astonishing resume, beginning with a quite incredible 335-15 record in the amateurs. That of course was topped off by the Olympic gold medal for heavyweights at London 2012. Along the way he defeated a certain Artur Beterbiev.

Since turning pro Usyk has been absolute perfection, building a 21-0 record (14 wins inside distance) and winning world titles in two weight classes.

First the man from Simferopol boxed his way to the title of undisputed cruiserweight champion, before moving up to heavyweight in a bid to emulate the great Evander Holyfield.

Usyk has been perfect so far at the higher weight despite his lack of massive size - winning all of his five fights.

The Ukrainian superstar claimed the IBF, WBA and WBO titles by outpointing Anthony Joshua in London in 2021, and he retained the belts after a similarly impressive victory in their Saudi rematch in 2022.

Size matters: How big are Fury and Usyk?

This is partly what makes this fight so intriguing - they are worlds apart when it comes to size.

Fury has spent much of the build-up to this one calling his opponent ‘a rabbit’ due to the differential in stature, and it will be a significant factor one way or another on fight night.

Standing 6ft 9ins tall, Tyson is some six inches taller than the 6ft 3ins Usyk, and he is also set to enjoy a mammoth weight advantage on the night as well.

Fury weighed in at more than 277lbs for his last fight against Ngannou. Usyk meanwhile was just 221lbs for his stoppage win over Daniel Dubois in Poland last August.

That means Fury is likely to outweigh Usyk by around four stones - more than 50lbs - when the pair tip the scales in Saudi this coming Friday.


Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk

Styles make fights, what about this one?

It is not just size that provides another wrinkle to this fascinating plot - it is their styles as well.

Fury fights out of the orthodox stance while Usyk (despite being right-handed) fights as a southpaw.

The purses: How much will they earn?

The fight game is booming right now thanks to the massive investment from Saudi Arabia - headed by its General Entertainment Authority and Chairman Turki Alalshikh.

While purses are not publicly revealed, the reports are that Fury will earn significantly north of £50million on Saturday - perhaps up to £80million - a record payday. Usyk meanwhile is reportedly set to take home more than £30million. Again the most lucrative night of his career.

TV winner with THREE UK platforms

Yes, we can’t remember the last time a trio of UK outlets broadcasted or streamed a big fight live on pay-per-view. But with the Saudis keen to make big fights available to as many fans as possible, that will happen on Saturday night.

Sky Sports Box Office (£24.95), DAZN PPV (£24.99) and TNT Sports Box Office (£24.99) will all show the bout live.

ESPN PPV and DAZN PPV meanwhile will have the rights to show the fight in the United States ($69.99).

What time will the fight start?

Ring walks for the main event are expected to take place at around 11pm UK time on Saturday May 18. That is 6pm Eastern Time or 3pm Pacific if you’re watching in the United States.

If you are watching in mainland Europe, midnight is the time to set your alarm for.


What about the undercard?

That Saudi investment means huge main events are also getting stacked undercards, and there are plenty of reasons to watch early on Saturday night.

There is another huge heavyweight showdown with unbeaten pair Frank Sanchez (24-0) and Agit Kabayel (24-0) locking horns in a WBC final eliminator.

Aussie banger Jai Opetaia and Mairis Briedis meet in a rematch with the IBF cruiserweight title on the line, while Welshman Joe Cordina defends his IBF super-featherweight title against Anthony Cacace.

These cracking fights are just the tip of the iceberg on a stacked undercard, but there is one other match we’d suggest you do make time to watch.

That is when 19-year-old Moses Itauma (8-0) - tipped by many to be the next big thing at heavyweight - takes the latest step in his pro education against Germany’s Ilija Mezencev.

Fury v Usyk: Full running order

  • MAIN EVENT: Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk
    WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles
  • Joe Cordina vs Anthony Cacace
    IBF and IBO super-featherweight titles
  • Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis
    vacant IBF Cruiserweight title
  • Mark Chamberlain vs Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab
  • Sergey Kovalev vs Robin Sirwan Safar
  • Isaac Lowe vs Hasibullah Ahmadi
  • David Nyika vs Michael Seitz
  • Moses Itauma vs Ilja Mezencev
  • Agit Kabayel vs Frank Sanchez

Start time: Undercard approx 1615 GMT, Main Event approx 2300 GMT

TV channel and cost: Sky Sports Box Office (£24.95), DAZN PPV (£24.99) and TNT Sports Box Office (£24.99) will all show the bout live.

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