Fury v Usyk title fight rescheduled for Riyadh on May 18

February 4, 2024 8:06 am

Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury face off during the press conference [Source: Reuters]

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will fight their rescheduled unified world heavyweight title in Riyadh on May 18, promoters in Britain and Saudi Arabia said.

The bout was originally for Feb. 17 in Riyadh but was postponed on Friday after Britain’s Fury suffered a cut during sparring.

The “Ring of Fire” clash will unify Fury’s WBC heavyweight championship with Ukrainian Usyk’s WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts, crowning the first unified heavyweight boxing champion since 1999.

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Fury, 35, won his WBC championship after knocking out American Deontay Wilder in 2020, while 37-year-old Usyk won his belts after outscoring Britain’s Anthony Joshua in 2021.

Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers.

Saudi entertainment head and organiser Turki Alalshikh told a special Saturday edition of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on YouTube that he was confident the fight would happen on the new date.

Alalshikh said May 18 also met a deadline set by the IBF for the fight to happen.

Both Fury and Usyk appeared on the show via video links, Fury in Saudi Arabia and Usyk from at his training camp in Spain, and said they had agreed the new date.

Fury explained that he had arranged to spar 12 rounds with four different boxers and suffered the injury in round five, requiring a hospital trip and 11 stitches.

Fury also brushed aside a suggestion from Usyk’s camp that he was looking for a way out.

Usyk said his reaction to the news of the postponement was “just smile. I just smile and go to training.”

Saudi organisers Riyadh Season said on Friday that tickets for the original fight would be refunded.