Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk Agree to Face Off in Winter Showdown

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk Agree to Face Off in Winter Showdown


Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have inked contracts for a highly anticipated heavyweight championship bout set to take place in Saudi Arabia, according to multiple sources cited by ESPN on Friday.


The proposed fight is scheduled for either December 23 or sometime in January, contingent on Fury’s performance in his upcoming clash with former UFC champion Francis Ngannou on October 28, which will be broadcast on ESPN+ pay-per-view.


The contest between Fury and Usyk will determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era of boxing. It represents a rare meeting between two heavyweight titans widely recognized as among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, with Fury ranked at No. 6 and Usyk at No. 3.




WBC champion Fury and WBA, IBF, and WBO titleholder Usyk were previously in negotiations for a bout in April at London’s Wembley Stadium, but those talks collapsed at the eleventh hour.


Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) subsequently fulfilled his WBA mandatory defense with a ninth-round knockout victory over England’s Daniel Dubois in August, in Wroclaw, Poland.


The former undisputed cruiserweight champion secured the three heavyweight titles when he outpointed Anthony Joshua in September 2021 and repeated the feat in a rematch with Joshua in August 2022.


Usyk, a 36-year-old Ukrainian and Olympic gold medalist, currently holds the No. 2 spot among heavyweights according to ESPN’s rankings.


Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) is a global boxing sensation, known for his charismatic persona both inside and outside the ring. His Netflix reality show premiered this summer, and he has also ventured into WWE.


Fury, at 35, is gearing up for an October 28 non-title bout with Ngannou before stepping into what is arguably the most significant showdown of his career. However, Fury is no stranger to high-profile matches.


“The Gypsy King” made headlines in 2015 when he upset Wladimir Klitschko to capture three heavyweight titles but subsequently faced personal challenges, including substance abuse and mental health struggles, during a 2½-year hiatus that saw his weight balloon to over 400 pounds.


In 2018, Fury made one of the most remarkable comebacks in sports, securing two tune-up victories before engaging in a thrilling draw with Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title in December. Fury faced two knockdowns in that fight, including a dramatic 12th-round fall, but managed to beat the count, leading to a split draw decision in a contest he appeared to dominate.


In the immediate rematch, Fury left no room for doubt, delivering a comprehensive beating to Wilder, including causing a perforated eardrum. The fight was halted in the seventh round after Wilder’s trainer threw in the towel.


Fury was originally slated to face Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 2020, but an independent arbitrator ruled in favor of Wilder, enforcing a third fight due to a rematch clause.

The trilogy bout lived up to the hype, with Fury surviving two knockdowns and delivering three knockdowns of his own, ultimately ending the rivalry with an emphatic victory in the 11th round.


The Fury-Wilder 3 showdown was named ESPN’s Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year.

Fury subsequently secured victories over fellow English fighters Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora in London last year, both inside the distance.


Now, he faces his toughest challenge yet in Usyk, a crafty boxer known for his skillful use of angles and impeccable footwork, while Fury, standing at a towering 6-foot-9 and weighing 270 pounds, is already considered one of the all-time great heavyweight boxers, capable of adapting to various styles in the ring.


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