Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk square off on Saturday, February 17 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The contest features two undefeated heavyweight champions battling it out for the undisputed title.
British star Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) is a current WBC heavyweight champion. Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) of Ukraine is a reigning unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion. The contest is set to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years, as well as the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era.
Lennox Lewis claimed all in November 1999, when he defeated Evander Holyfield by unanimous decision in their immediate rematch, following their first fight in March that ended in a split draw. With the victory he unified the WBA, WBC and IBF titles.
In his previous outing in October, Fury took a split decision against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a non-title fight. In his most recent to date championship bout, the 35-year-old native of Manchester stopped Derek Chisora in the 10th round of their rematch and retained his WBC heavyweight title.
“I’ve been in many heavyweight title fights before,” Tyson Fury said at a kickoff press conference in London. “And now is the most important one. We’re both undefeated. He’s a champion; I’m a champion. And it’s going to be one of the fights for the ages.”
“It’s been 24 years since we’ve last had an undisputed heavyweight world champion. And we know that the Klitschkos were champions for about 10 years. So there’s been another 14 years where other heavyweights couldn’t stop it. So we’ve been chosen. And I believe we’re both destined to be here. And there’s only one winner: I’m destined to become undisputed champion.”
“We’re not here to talk. It’s not a talking contest. It’s a boxing match. On February 17, all the talking goes out the window. It doesn’t matter what he or what I said. It comes down to who wins the fight. He thinks he’s going to win. I know I’m going to win. There’s not much more to be said.”
‘I will speak more in the ring’
Usyk won his previous bout in August in Wroclaw, Poland by knockout in the ninth round against Daniel Dubois. With the victory, 36-year-old former undisputed cruiserweight champion of Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine made the second successful defense of his unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Oleksandr Usyk said. “Thank you to everyone. I will speak more in the ring.”
“I want to tell a story that looks very similar to our story with Tyson, about David and Goliath. When the Lord gives me Tyson in my hands, I will do my job.”
The bouts featured on Fury vs Usyk undercard, as well as broadcast information is expected to be announced shortly.
In Australia, the event airs live on Sunday, February 18.