Fury: I’m the only hurdle to Usyk’s dominance in our title bout

Photo of Tyson Fury in the clash against Oleksandr Usyk.

Tyson Fury, the reigning WBC champion, and Oleksandr Usyk, the unified WBA, WBO, and IBF titleholder, are set to meet in Saudi Arabia on February 17 next year. Their goal is to become the first undisputed champion in the heavyweight division since Lennox Lewis in 1999. Fury is committed to preventing Usyk from achieving “total domination” in their imminent undisputed heavyweight world championship bout on the specified date.

In a fiery press conference in London on Thursday, the highly anticipated clash between WBC champion Tyson Fury and unified WBA, WBO, and IBF titleholder Oleksandr Usyk was officially declared. Usyk has already triumphed over Fury’s compatriots Derek Chisora, Anthony Joshua, and most recently, Daniel Dubois.

Despite Usyk’s previous victories, ‘The Gypsy King’ stands firm, asserting that the Ukrainian cannot impede his pursuit of becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis 24 years ago.

Fury conveyed his unwavering determination to Sky Sports, declaring, “There’s only me who stands in the way of him and total domination of Europe. He’s beaten all of the British guys – Chisora, Joshua, Dubois – and there’s only me. I’m the dauntless in his waters, let’s just say that. They’ve got to pull out the long-range guns, and we’ll see. If he beats me, which he can’t, there will be nothing standing in his way of total domination. [He can’t beat me] because I’m ‘The Gypsy King’ – that’s enough.”

The official confirmation of their bout in Saudi Arabia, aiming to unify all titles in the heavyweight division for the first time since 1999, came a day after the announcement of a heavyweight card featuring Joshua and one of Fury’s previous opponents, Deontay Wilder, scheduled for December 23.

In Riyadh, Joshua is slated to compete against Otto Wallin, Wilder is scheduled to face Joseph Parker, Dubois is set to battle Jarrell Miller, and Usyk’s mandatory IBF title challenger Filip Hrgovic will go against Mark De Mori.

Fury, coming off a split-decision win over former UFC champion Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia last month, acknowledged the heavyweight division’s strength and hinted at his involvement in arranging the December 23 card.

“Just a month ago, being a heavyweight was challenging, and now, thanks to me, all these fights are taking place,” Fury commented. “I’m essentially the promoter of the heavyweight division. I’m overseeing the entire heavyweight division. They’re all working for me now, everybody – I’ve gathered them all under the ‘Gypsy King’ banner.”

“Without my involvement, there wouldn’t be any activity on December 23, that’s a certainty. All of these pairings are of top-notch quality. I have knowledge about each one, and I played a crucial role in arranging them.

“I can’t go into too much detail on camera, but let’s just say my contribution was substantial.”

Upcoming boxing contests

November 17

  • Shakur Stevenson will face Edwin De Los Santos in the WBC lightweight category.
  • Emanuel Navarrete is set to take on Robson Conceicao in the WBO super-featherweight division.

November 18

  • Franck Petitjean is scheduled to compete against Adam Azim in the European super-lightweight class.
  • Matteo Signani will meet Tyler Denny in the European middleweight category.

December 10

  • Chris Billam-Smith is lined up to fight Mateusz Masternak in the WBO cruiserweight division.

December 26

  • Naoya Inoue is scheduled to face Marlon Tapales in the WBC, WBA, WBO & IBF super-bantamweight class.

January 14

  • Artur Beterbiev is set to clash with Callum Smith in the WBO, WBC & IBF light-heavyweight division.
  • Jason Moloney will go up against Saul Sanchez in the WBO bantamweight category.

January 20

  • Natasha Jonas is scheduled to face Mikaela Mayer in the IBF welterweight class.

February 3

  • Joshua Buatsi is set to compete against Dan Azeez in the WBA final eliminator.


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