Boxing is set to crown its first undisputed world heavyweight champion since 1999 when the division’s two current kings lock horns early in 2024.
Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk is now not only signed, but we have a date and a venue - they will meet in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday February 17.
The eagerly-awaited showdown sees Fury (34-0-1) put his WBC and lineal heavyweight titles on the line against current IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring magazine king Usyk (21-0).
The news, confirmed on Thursday evening at a press conference in London, crowns a spectacular week for heavyweight boxing.
On Wednesday we got the news that Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will top an incredible bill - also in Riyadh - on Saturday December 23. Joshua meets Swede Otto Wallin while Wilder locks horns with Joseph Parker.
Fury vs Usyk is the cherry on the cake though, with the division finally set to have its first undisputed ruler since Britain’s Lennox Lewis outpointed Evander Holyfield in their Las Vegas rematch back in November 1999.
Fury told the assembled ranks of the world’s media: “Usyk, you can run, but The Gypsy King is coming to get you. This is my era, and your time is up. Your undefeated record AND your belts, they will be mine!” Fury said. “Thank you to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and His Excellency Turki Alalshikh for bringing this undisputed title fight to the beautiful Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I had an amazing time here when I fought Ngannou, and I am ready to do it again. This time, The Gypsy King will return to England as the undisputed heavyweight king.”
Usyk meanwhile is a man of few words, and he responded by revealing: “I have no goal, only the way. And my way is ‘The Undisputed.’ That is why this was the only fight for me. When that bell rings, I will bring the fire.”
Usyk’s last fight was a stoppage victory over another Brit Daniel Dubois in Poland in August, while Fury struggled to overcome former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in their crossover fight in Riyadh last month. He emerged with a split-decision victory.