Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have recently inked a deal to compete for the coveted undisputed heavyweight championship, setting the stage for a potential showdown on December 23. This monumental clash will be taking place just weeks after his match against Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.
The world of heavyweight boxing has long awaited a unification of the prestigious titles. The WBC title of Tyson Fury has been separated from the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts. But there will eventually be a clear winner recognized, with the occasion maybe occurring this year.
Fury’s schedule is nothing short of a whirlwind. First, he’s set to lock horns with former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou. The event will kick-off the Riyadh Season in a colossal crossover event.
A mere eight weeks later, Fury might find himself squaring off against Usyk. According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, the contracts for this epic showdown have been inked. The potential dates are under consideration for both January and the pre-Christmas fight night.
The December 23 date is ambitious, considering Fury’s scheduled bout on October 28. But it is being pushed to create an unparalleled spectacle of sport.
Notably, the Club World Cup final is slated to unfold across Saudi Arabia in Jeddah the day before. The event will culminate in a year-end doubleheader of major events.
Insider reports confirm that the deal was solidified two weeks prior. Coppinger’s Twitter post declared, “Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have signed contracts for an undisputed heavyweight championship fight in Saudi Arabia, multiple sources told ESPN. Fight could take place December 23 or sometime in January, sources said. Fury first meets Francis Ngannou October 28 in Saudi Arabia.”
Not long after Coppinger’s report, Frank Warren took to Twitter to affirm the officialization of the bout. He shared a poster with the caption, “This is the biggest fight that could possibly be made in our sport. Thank you to His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and the GEA.”
Promoter Alex Krassyuk added: “I can’t believe that it’s happening but it is. Respect to Tyson for his courage.”
Fury’s stance on facing Usyk for all the belts has been subject to change. At times, he’s expressed an ardent desire for undisputed status, while other moments have seen him characterize the Ukrainian as relatively obscure.
With Middle Eastern officials offering what he claims to be one of the most lucrative deals in sporting history, Fury now stands poised to contend for all the belts.
In a candid interview with football legend Rio Ferdinand for TNT Sports, Fury didn’t mince his words. He said: “The fans want it and if the money’s there we’ll do it. Why on in the world would I want to fight [Usyk] for no money, he’s got zero personality, he’s an ugly b******d with gappy teeth and he’s half the size of me, so it’s all to gain for him and nothing to gain for me, isn’t it?”
“If I beat him it’s ‘oh well he beat a middleweight’, if he beats me then he beat the legendary Tyson Fury and it’s for no money. And it’s not just that, he was offered the fight in Wembley in April and he didn’t take it, he ran away, looking for more money. I understand that everyone wants the most money possible, I do.”
“This is prizefighting, we all want the biggest bag, and as much as people say it’s about the belts, it’s about my record or my legacy, no. It’s about getting paid and getting laid.”