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Home > Oleksandr Usyk Inflicts First Defeat On Tyson Fury To Unify World Heavyweight Titles

Oleksandr Usyk Inflicts First Defeat On Tyson Fury To Unify World Heavyweight Titles

An undisputed heavyweight title fight is as rare as as a boxer not talking up his chances before going into the ring. There hasn’t been one this millennium and so, for once, tonight sees a bout well worth the considerable hype.

Not since Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield 25 years ago have all the belts been up for grabs, and they’re not the only things on the line in Saudi Arabia.

Both Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are undefeated in their professional boxing careers so far and the winner of the bout will become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era.

Fury holds the WBC belt, which he won in 2020 when he beat Deontay Wilder. He has defended that belt three times, against Wilder, Dillian Whyte and, most recently, Derek Chisora.

Usyk has held the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles since beating Anthony Joshua in 2021. He has defended those titles twice: in a rematch with Joshua and most recently against Daniel Dubois.

Fury is in no doubt as to what he’s going to do in Riyadh, saying he’s going to knock his Ukrainian opponent out.

“I’m looking to do a demolition job on him,” the Briton said. “I just want to beat the silly sausage. Yes, Usyk is fast, talented, he out-boxed a big heavyweight in Anthony Joshua twice but AJ is one-dimensional, one-paced, and I could outbox him with a blindfold on. I’m just different.”

For Usyk the magnitude of the fight is all too clear.

“It’s the most important fight of my career, my sports career and my sporting life. I want to say that my victory is the victory of the entire Ukrainian people. And defeat is personal,” the Ukrainian said.

“I was worried about Tyson Fury, that there might be injuries and that our fight might not take place,” he added. “If he was performing, I think he deserves an Oscar. It has to happen because we have a contract. It’s a problem only for Tyson Fury. He signed a contract, so he has to fight. It has been an incredible journey. I can do anything now.”

The ring walk is expected at about 11pm UK time, so stay here for all the build-up, the undercard and then boxing’s biggest bout in a generation.