The Middle East will get to witness yet another high-profile bout with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury announcing on Tuesday that he will fight MMA star Francis Ngannou in a boxing contest in Saudi Arabia on October 28.
Fury's team said the fight will "take place under the official rules of professional boxing, with three judges ringside adopting the 10-point system".
The British boxer's WBC title will not be on the line during the exhibition match against the former UFC heavyweight champion.
"As soon as that bell goes, it'll be bombs away. This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let's see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK [Gypsy King]," Fury said.
"I can't wait to get back out there under the lights. I'm looking forward to showing the world that the Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft."
Ngannou will make his professional boxing debut after going 17-3 (12 KOs) in MMA. The Cameroon-born Frenchman became the UFC’s first African heavyweight champion in 2021. He defended his title in 2022 with a clear unanimous-decision victory over undefeated interim champion Ciryl Gane.
“My dream was always to box, and to box the best,” Ngannou said. “After becoming the undisputed MMA heavyweight champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet.”
The WBC said it will not be involved in the fight, with Fury given special permission for a non-title bout as he has no mandatory challenger.
Usyk will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO crowns against Fury's promotional stablemate Daniel Dubois next month.