The undisputed heavyweight world title fight between WBA, WBO and IBF champion Oleksandr Usyk and WBC champion Tyson Fury has finally been given an official date, with the bout set for February 17 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Embed from Getty Images
Tyson Fury recently beat Francis Ngannou via a controversial points decision, with the Brit being knocked down by the UFC fighter and many pundits suggesting he shouldn’t have been given the win.
Oleksandr Usyk knocked out British heavyweight Daniel Dubois back in August, following a year-long lay-off after his second victory over Anthony Joshua.
No man has ever held all four world titles in the four-belt era; Lennox Lewis is the last man to have been undisputed heavyweight champion following his victory over Evander Holyfield in 1999, but there were only three world title belts in existence then.
While the undisputed fight has been hotly anticipated for some time, the announcement was somewhat overshadowed by another fight card confirmed this week.
On December 23, fellow heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will fight in separate bouts on the same card in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua will fight Sweden’s Otto Wallin, who famously suffered his only career defeat to Fury back in 2019.
Joshua returned to action in August, knocking out Robert Helenius in London, and will be looking to win his third fight in a row since his rematch loss to Usyk last year.
Wilder will fight New Zealand’s Joseph Parker, who was beaten on points by Joshua in 2018 and suffered a knock-out defeat to Joe Joyce last year.Embed from Getty Images
There is much hope amongst the boxing fraternity that Joshua and Wilder fighting on the same card could lead to a bout between the two sometime next year, providing they both come through their December fights unscathed.
The undercard sees two world title fights, with Russian Dmitry Bivol defending his WBA light-heavyweight crown against Brit Lyndon Arthur, while Australian Jai Opetaia defends his IBF cruiserweight title against another Brit, the undefeated Ellis Zorro.
Daniel Dubois returns to action following his defeat to Usyk in a fight with American Jarrell Miller, who was famously forced to pull out of a scheduled bout against Joshua following multiple failed drugs tests back in 2019.
The other two fights on the card see IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic meet Australian Mark De Mori, with the unbeaten Croatian set to box for the heavyweight title next year, and two unbeaten heavyweights Frank Sanchez and Agit Kabayel colliding with both hoping to further their title ambitions.