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Riyadh Showdown As Fury, Usyk Battle For Undisputed World Heavyweight Crown

Riyadh Showdown As Fury, Usyk Battle For Undisputed World Heavyweight Crown

The city of Riyadh will literally be on standstill as two undefeated champions, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk clash today for the undisputed world heavyweight championship at the Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia.

Boxing has long frustrated fans with various belts and sanctioning bodies creating multiple champions at the same weights, and frequent disputes over money and clashing egos often prevent the best fighters from facing each other in their prime.

Although Fury vs Usyk has taken some taken to materialise and was postponed from its original date in February after Fury suffered a cut in training, the fact that a bout of this magnitude is finally happening, partly a result of growing Saudi influence in the sport means many are billing it as the fight of this century, with the winner stepping into the ranks of the all-time greats.

 

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In one corner, there’s Fury, whose unrelenting power and durability have overwhelmed his opponents. At a bruting 6’9″ and 278 lbs, there’s a good reason why he’s a boxing force and the World Boxing Council Heavyweight champion.

He first became a heavyweight champion by beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

The “Gypsy King” subsequently battled severe mental health issues and ballooning weight, but came back from years in the wilderness to dethrone knockout artist Deontay Wilder, beating him twice (one fight ended in a draw) in a thrilling trilogy to win and retain the WBC belt.

Fury survived a scare in his last fight against mixed martial arts (MMA) star, and novice professional boxer, Francis Ngannou, as the Gypsy King got up from being floored on his way to a split-decision win.

In the other corner is the undefeated Usyk. The Ukrainian heavyweight holds four titles: the IBF World Heavyweight title, the IBO World Heavyweight title, the WBA Super World Heavyweight title, and the WBO World Heavyweight title. When he’s not telling Jake Paul to quit, he’s pounding the opposition into dust.

He made his heavyweight debut in 2019 and won the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts in 2021, outclassing the much bigger Anthony Joshua, whom Usyk has now beaten twice.

In his last fight, Usyk stopped Daniel Dubois in the ninth round, but it was not a totally comfortable fight for the Ukrainian, who was hurt on a couple of occasions.

However, Usyk speaking during the media conference at Boulevard City, Riyadh said that he wants to make history.

“Let’s make history. Enough. Thanks very much,” he said.

But the 35-year-old British boxer also had little to say on Thursday, “I’m ready. I’ve got nothing else to say apart from I’m ready for a good fight,” he said.

“God bless him,” he added when asked if he had a message for Usyk. “I’ll say a prayer for him before the fight for us both to get out of the ring safely.”


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