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Fury will face Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight crown on February 17

Nature

World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury of Great Britain reacts during his weigh-in at Wembley Stadium, London, on April 22, 2022, on the eve of his fight against Dillian Whyte. (AFP)

LONDON – Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will face off in a “historic” battle for the undisputed heavyweight title in Saudi Arabia on February 17.

British star Fury will take his WBC belt on the road, with the WBA, IBF and WBO titles held by Ukrainian Usyk also up for grabs in Riyadh.

The winner could become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis from 1999 to 2000.

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Fury, 35, and Usyk, 36, were originally scheduled to face each other on December 23.

But Fury’s disappointing performance in a split decision victory over MMA star Francis Ngannou last month delayed the highly anticipated fight.

He was left with a swollen eye and a cut forehead after the controversial victory over Ngannou.

Fury was previously criticized for failing to reach an agreement with Usyk when a proposed meeting at Wembley in April could not be confirmed.

The pair will finally step into the ring in 2024 as Fury looks like he could add to his tally of 34 wins with one draw since turning professional in 2008.

“This is a historic event. The whole boxing world has been ready for many years, and now they have this fight,” Fury’s promoter Frank Warren told reporters at a news conference in London on Thursday.

“For the first time in this century, we will have an undisputed heavyweight champion.

“As a promoter, I’m banging my head against the wall. But now we have the cream of the crop. These two undefeated heavyweight fighters.

“Cementing my legacy”

In a generally combative mood during the press conference, Fury referenced his 2015 victory over fellow Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko, which gave him the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.

“I already took away all the belts from a Ukrainian, and now I’m going to take them all back,” Fury said.

“Usyk is a champion, I am a champion. This will be a battle that will last centuries. »

Fury believes a victory over Usyk would cement his position as one of the all-time greats.

“He’s a skilled boxer. But I’ve seen people like him before, and when they fight the big man, they lose,” he said.

“I guess we’re all meant to be here.” I am destined to become the undisputed champion and, more importantly, cement my legacy.

Usyk maintained his composure amid Fury’s insults, which included blows to his opponent’s tip and his earring.

“Of course, I’m just a little man. I will speak in the ring,” Usyk said.

Fury has held the WBC belt since beating Deontay Wilder in 2020 and has defended the title three times.

He stopped Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April 2022 and beat Derek Chisora ​​at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium eight months later.

Usyk, who has won all 21 of his fights, holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles since his victory over Anthony Joshua in 2021.

The Ukrainian has defended his titles twice, beating Joshua by split decision in Saudi Arabia last year and knocking out Daniel Dubois in August.

Saudi Arabia has hosted several major boxing events recently, including Usyk’s victory over Anthony Joshua in 2022.

The Gulf state has been accused of using sport to boost its global status after widespread criticism of its human rights record.

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