Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk mega-fight finally signed; Francis Ngannou overlooked

Tyson Fury has agreed to the biggest fight in heavyweight boxing. And it's going to completely overshadow his bout with Francis Ngannou.

By: Tim Bissell | 2 months ago

Tyson Fury books undisputed heavyweight title fight with Oleksandr Usyk

I guess Tyson Fury isn’t expecting to get hurt fighting Francis Ngannou on October 28.

Fury has now officially signed on to fight Oleksandr Usyk in an undisputed heavyweight championship fight which will, just like his bout with Ngannou, take place in Saudi Arabia and be funded by its government.

Fury and his promoter Frank Warren announced the news, saying that he’s “delighted to finally get this fight signed,” and calling it “the biggest fight that could possibly be made in our sport.”

The fight will happen at the Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia. No date was mentioned on the official announcement, but preliminary reports note that the blockbuster fight will either take place at the tail end of this year or early in 2024 (per Bad Left Hook). One date mentioned in is December 23, less than two months after Fury’s scheduled fight with former UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou.

Hopefully Fury, and his dad, are right about Ngannou’s skills and we don’t see anything that could rule Fury out of the most eagerly awaited heavyweight bout in this era.

The bout will determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion in decades, an incredibly rare feat that hasn’t been achieved since Lennox Lewis held all the belts from 1999 to 2000.

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk has been in demand for years

The last time we saw Tyson Fury box it was when he cruised to a tenth round TKO win over his friend Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on December 3, 2022. Immediately after stopping Chisora (for the third time in his career), Fury went to the ring apron and started calling out Oleksandr Usyk (and Joe Joyce who was there for some reason).

Fury warned Usyk that he would get a ‘hiding’ from him and told the crowd that he expected Usyk to behave like a “rabbit” and run.

Usyk was coming off his second win over Anthony Joshua at the time, where he retained the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles, making Fury’s WBC title the only belt short of making him the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Though boxing fans were scintillated by the prospect of Fury vs. Usyk, there were doubts that Fury would take the fight. He seemed more interested in pulling in a big gate with an exhibition versus Francis Ngannou than a fight against an opponent who could actually threaten him in the ring.

There were early talks over the fight, but those soon fell apart. And many feared this would go down as one of the best heavyweight fights to never happen.

However, with today’s news (confirmed by both Fury and his promoter Frank Warren) we are due to be blessed with yet another boxing mega fight.

Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou now just an appetizer

What had been billed as one of the biggest cross-over boxing events in history now seems like just an appetizer. Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou will now serve as a warm-up exercise for Fury ahead of an incredibly important undisputed heavyweight title clash (which will be an amazing box office hit).

The announcement also sends a clear message that Fury and his camp don’t view the fight with Ngannou as serious business or a fight where Fury could be hurt or put out of commission for a long time.

Despite that signal being sent, Fury vs. Ngannou will still draw plenty at the box office (and bring in lots of web traffic). What happens next, though, will be a dramatic and pivotal chapter in heavyweight boxing history.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at tim@bloodyelbow.com. Nice messages will get a response.

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