LONDON (AP) — The fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to unify all of the major heavyweight boxing titles will take place in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, on Feb. 17, promoters announced Thursday.
The last fight to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion was in 1999, when Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield to win three major titles — the WBC, WBA and IBF belts. Lewis had to relinquish his WBA title the following year in a dispute over his next title defense.
This time, it’s for four belts. Fury (34-0-1) of England is the WBC champion and Usyk (21-0) of Ukraine holds the WBA, IBF and WBO belts, having previously been the undisputed champion at cruiserweight in 2018 and 2019.
Fury and Usyk were expected to meet on Dec. 23 but the fight was delayed after Fury’s disappointing performance in a split-decision victory over MMA star Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia last month.
“I am destined to cement my legacy as the No. 1 fighter in this era and to do that, I’ve got to beat this little man,” said Fury, who has previously referred to Usyk as a “middleweight.”
“That’s it. Simple as. He’s a tricky man, a good boxer, slick, all of that, but I’ve seen many people like him before. When they fight the big men, they struggle and he’s going to struggle on Feb. 17. He will lose, for sure.”
Usyk is coming off a defense against Daniel Dubois in Poland. The Ukrainian has beaten British opponents in all of his last four fights, including when he won his heavyweight titles from Anthony Joshua in 2021 and defended them in a rematch in Saudi Arabia the following year.
“I have no goal,” Usyk said. “Only the way. And my way is ’The Undisputed.’ That is why this was the only fight for me. When that bell rings, I will bring the fire.”
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