Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will fight, barring any additional delays, eight weeks after they originally thought they would square off for heavyweight supremacy.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the Fury-Usyk bout has been scheduled for February 17 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A press conference is scheduled for Thursday at Wembley Stadium in London to officially announce their fight for Fury’s WBC title and Usyk’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts.
ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger first reported Tuesday afternoon that February 17 is the date for Fury-Usyk.
Fury, 35, and Usyk, 36, were tentatively scheduled to meet December 23 in Riyadh. Their highly anticipated title unification fight was pushed back because Fury endured a tougher-than-anticipated, 10-round fight against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou on October 28 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.
Ngannou, who made his professional boxing debut in their pay-per-view main event, floored Fury late in the third round of that bout. Fury also suffered a small cut on the lower left side of his forehead and swelling around his left eye in a fight the heavily favored Fury barely won by split decision.
Unless their 12-round battle results in a draw or a no-contest, the winner between England’s Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) and Ukraine’s Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) will become boxing’s first fully unified heavyweight champion of the four-belt era.
Though Fury-Usyk is scheduled to take place later than expected, The General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia will still stage a card December 23 at Kingdom Arena.
Former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs), of Watford, England, will face Swedish southpaw Otto Wallin (26-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC) in the 12-round main event that night. Former WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will square off against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (33-3, 23 KOs), a former WBO champ, in the 12-round co-feature December 23.
The card headlined by Joshua-Wallin will be officially announced at a press conference Wednesday in London.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.