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Usyk - Fury: What to know about heavyweight champions' fight

Usyk - Fury: What to know about heavyweight champions' fight Photo: Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk held a colorful press conference in London (Getty Images)

The fight between Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk and British Tyson Fury for the title of undisputed heavyweight world champion will be the biggest event in the world of boxing in the last two decades.

All the news surrounding the Usyk vs. Fury bout can be found in the material by RBС-Ukraine.

The Usyk vs. Fury fight will take place on May 18 in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. The boxers will enter the ring at the local Kingdom Arena. The start time of the match will be determined later. Oleksandr Usyk, the holder of the WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO, and The Ring heavyweight championship belts, will face off against Tyson Fury, the WBC champion. The winner will become the first undisputed heavyweight world champion in over two decades.

Bookmakers' forecast for the Usyk - Fury fight

Currently, experts consider the Ukrainian to be the favorite of the confrontation with a slight advantage. Bookmaker specialists from Favbet have set the odds for Usyk's victory at 1.90, while the probable success of the British champion is rated at 1.95. A rare draw result in boxing can be bet on with a solid odds of 17.00.

A patriotic bet with an early victory for Usyk is offered with a promising odds of 5.50. Fans of intense sensations can bet on the outcome of the fight in a specific round. For example, the victory of either boxer in the fifth round will increase the potential winnings by 40 times, while the odds for the end of the fight in the third round are set at 80.00.

Undercard of the Usyk - Fury fight

The bout between the Ukrainian and the British boxer will be the main event of a big boxing night. However, traditionally, to warm up the audience before the Usyk and Fury show, there will be a series of fights featuring lesser-known fighters. Currently, 8 fights have already been confirmed. Among them, Joe Cordina will face Anthony Kakace for the IBF title in the junior lightweight division.

Confirmed fights on the undercard:

  • Opetaia vs. Briedis
  • Cordina vs. Kakace
  • Kabayel vs. Sanchez
  • Kovalev vs. Safar
  • Chamberlain vs. Wahab
  • Itauma vs. Mezentsev
  • Nyika vs. Seitz
  • Lowe vs. Ahmadi

Усик – Ф'юрі. Що потрібно знати про битву чемпіонів у хевівейті

Main events before the Usyk - Fury fight

In the latter half of March, Fury returned to training bouts after an unfortunate injury. The heavyweight from South Africa, Lerena, posted a picture from a spar against the Gypsy King. The former holder of secondary titles joined the British boxer's training camp.

The head of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, Turki Al-Sheikh, unveiled a special belt for the future undisputed heavyweight world champion. The trophy for the winner of the showdown is styled after the UFC. The word Undisputed is prominently featured at the center.

In early February, news of a serious injury to the British boxer surfaced. Images of cuts on the Gypsy King were circulated online, and the promotional company Queensberry Promotions announced the impossibility of holding the fight on February 17. Eventually, the fight was postponed to the spring.

Усик – Ф'юрі. Що потрібно знати про битву чемпіонів у хевівейті

The Ukrainian's team has selected five sparring partners for preparation. In Usyk's camp, they are working with Serb Hasanovic, German Odiase, Ukrainian Katsuk, Pole Wach, and British Sealy. All of them resemble the Gypsy King in terms of physique.

At the beginning of January, ticket sales for the fight started on the portal. The cheapest pass to the champions' battle costs only 70 Saudi riyals, while the most expensive ones go for 1500 riyals.

The father of the British boxer, John Fury, warned the WBC champion against taking a careless approach to the champions' battle. In his opinion, the absolute world champion will be the one who trains better in the camp. Fury's current approach is deemed unserious.

On November 16, a joint press conference of both champions took place in London. They announced that the fight would take place on February 17 and also exchanged sharp words towards each other. The staredown between Usyk and Fury almost ended in a fight.

Fury's team demanded that the bout be postponed until 2024. The reason behind this move was the condition of the British boxer after his encounter with Ngannou. According to Fury's camp, he will need more time for recovery and preparation for a new fight.

In late October, the Gypsy King had a tough bout against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou. The British boxer was knocked down and managed to defeat the mixed martial artist only by the judges' decision. However, Fury himself sustained serious injuries.

Renowned promoter Bob Arum later revealed the financial details of the fight. It turned out that the champions would not share the prize pool. Crafty Saudi officials negotiated the prize amounts for Usyk and Fury separately with each boxer.

In September, Usyk and Fury agreed to a showdown for heavyweight supremacy. The exact date for the bout between the Ukrainian champion and the British boxer with the WBC title was not finalized then. The working options were December 23 and January 2024.

Усик – Ф'юрі. Що потрібно знати про битву чемпіонів у хевівейті

Service record of Usyk and Fury

The Ukrainian champion has fought in 21 professional bouts. In them, Usyk only emerged victorious, including 14 times by knockout. He claimed the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO belts after his first victory over Anthony Joshua, and he acquired The Ring vacant title after the second. In August of this year, the Ukrainian knocked out British boxer Daniel Dubois.

Undefeated in the professional ranks, Fury has participated in 35 bouts, winning 34 of them (24 by knockout). However, his first encounter against American boxer Deontay Wilder ended in a draw. In the fall of 2015, he effectively ended the career of Volodymyr Klitschko by winning on points, taking away all of Klitschko's titles.