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Wednesday June 12, 2024

Fury to face Usyk in undisputed heavyweight title fight

Boxing world waits eagerly for the official date, expecting a clash that could redefine the heavyweight division for a new generation

By Web Desk
September 30, 2023
Ukraines Oleksandr Usyk (left) is set to face Britains Tyson Fury for the title of undisputed world heavyweight champion. AFP
Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk (left) is set to face Britain's Tyson Fury for the title of undisputed world heavyweight champion. AFP

LONDON: Tyson Fury is set to take on Oleksandr Usyk in an undisputed heavyweight title showdown in Saudi Arabia. 

Promoters unveiled this epic clash, with a tentative target date of December 23 for the bout in Riyadh.*

Champion vs. Champion

Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk enters the ring holding the WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles, while Britain's own Tyson Fury is the reigning WBC heavyweight champion. 

This showdown is poised to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era, a feat that hasn't been achieved since Lennox Lewis held the distinction 23 years ago.

Unblemished Records

Both fighters boast impeccable records in their professional careers. Fury, who turned pro in 2008, has amassed an impressive 33 wins with just one draw. 

Usyk, on the other hand, remains unbeaten in all 21 of his bouts, albeit his controversial defense against Britain's Daniel Dubois in August, marred by a disputed low blow ruling by referee Luis Pabon.

The Biggest Fight in Boxing

"This is the biggest fight that could possibly be made in our sport," declared Fury's promoter Frank Warren. 

The matchup between two undefeated champions has ignited the imaginations of boxing fans worldwide, with expectations soaring for what Warren predicts to be "the biggest boxing event of the century."

The Controversial Saudi Stage

The decision to host the fight in Saudi Arabia has been met with criticism due to concerns over the country's human rights record. Saudi Arabia has increasingly become a venue for high-profile sporting events, a strategy that some critics label as "sportswashing." 

The Gulf state has faced international backlash for its human rights violations, including mass executions and restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights.

Fighters' Journeys

Fury's path to the undisputed title fight is a remarkable one. After dethroning Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, he took a hiatus from the sport, grappling with mental health issues. However, Fury's triumphant return saw him claim the WBC title by defeating Deontay Wilder in 2020.

Usyk, an Olympic gold medalist in 2012, achieved undisputed world champion status at cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight in 2019. He shocked the boxing world by defeating Anthony Joshua in 2021 to claim the heavyweight belts and has continued to solidify his position at the top.