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Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk Ring heavyweight championship clash rescheduled for May 18

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Tyson Fury (left) and Oleksandr Usyk face off after the Heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou at Boulevard Hall on October 28, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

On Friday news broke that WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury suffered a cut on his right eye that meant the postponement of his upcoming fight with Ring, IBF, WBA and WBO beltholder Oleksandr Usyk that due to take place at the Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 17.

The following day, Turki Alashikh, the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, was with Fury and via video link Usyk was with manager Egis Klimas, and they announced that the two will now instead meet in the event dubbed “Ring of Fire” for the undisputed heavyweight championship at the same venue on May 18.

The cut that Fury suffered came from an elbow during a sparring session and needed 11 stitches at the hospital.

Fury (34-0-1, 24 knockouts) has remained unbeaten in 24 fights. He was a huge underdog when he shocked Wladimir Klitschko (UD 12) to become Ring champion and IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder in November 2015.

His life unraveled outside the ring and he didn’t fight for two and a half years. To his credit, he turned his life around and whipped himself into shape and mounted a comeback. “The Gypsy King” came close to unseating WBC titlist Deontay Wilder (D 12). In their rematch Fury impressively stopped the American in seven-rounds to claim the vacant Ring championship and WBC belt. They fought a rubber match and Fury again showed his outstanding recuperative powers, twice getting off the floor to stop Wilder (KO 11). Since then, he’s marked time against Dillian Whyte (TKO 6) and Derek Chisora (TKO 10) in big events in the U.K. Most recently, Fury edged out former MMA star Francis Ngannou (SD 10).

Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) was an outstanding amateur, who captured gold at the 2012 Olympics. He cleaned out the cruiserweight division, beating Krzysztof Glowacki (UD 12), Marco Huck (TKO 10), Mairis Briedis (MD 12), Murat Gassiev (UD 12) and Tony Bellew (TKO 8), all in their home countries. After moving up to heavyweight, Usyk was hampered by injuries and the pandemic.

The 37-year-old scored a routine win over late substitute Chazz Witherspoon (RTD 7) and outpointed perennial trier Derek Chisora (UD 12). However, the proud Ukrainian reminded everyone just how special he is when he twice bested Anthony Joshua (UD 12/ MD 12). More recently he stopped Daniel Dubois (KO 9) in front of over 40,000 fans in Poland.

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].

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