Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk date to be announced on Thursday: Bob Arum

Fight to unify world heavyweight division will take place in Saudi Arabia, Top Rank chief confirms

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk shake hands after the heavyweight fight between Fury and Francis Ngannou on October 28, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Getty Images
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A press conference to announce a date for the most anticipated heavyweight showdown – to be held in Saudi Arabia – in years will be held on Thursday.

Tyson Fury's undisputed world heavyweight title fight with Oleksandr Usyk is set to be revealed on Thursday, said Bob Arum, chief executive at Fury’s American promoter Top Rank.

WBC champion Fury had been expected to clash with WBA, IBF and WBO belt-holder Usyk on December 23, but injuries sustained by the British boxer in last month's contentious points victory over Francis Ngannou altered those plans.

That fight was expected to be the preamble to the announcement of Fury taking on Usyk. The two did come face-to-face in the ring in Saudi Arabia after the fight, but the expected cakewalk against Ngannou, the former UFC heavyweight champion making his pro boxing debut, never materialised.

Fury was knocked to the canvas in Round 2 and sported a swollen eye and cut on the forehead after the fight. While December 23 is too soon for Fury to recover, Arum told Sky Sports that the "Gypsy King" will be ready to return to the ring in February.

“I can confirm they will fight each other in Saudi Arabia," Arum said.

“There will be a press conference in London for Thursday of this week – the 16th – and they’ll confirm the date and all the other circumstances of the fight taking place.

“Tyson is ready to fight in February, if that’s when it happens. Remember going in with Ngannou, who showed himself to be very talented, nobody had a book on him because he had never had a prize fight.

“Fighting Usyk is totally different because they have reams and reams of film on Usyk. So, I think Tyson will be a lot better prepared against Usyk than he was against Ngannou.

“I have great confidence in Tyson Fury.

“I really believe Fury against Usyk will be a classic match.”

The long-awaited on-off fight would crown the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 and the first of the four-belt era.

Both fighters will put their unbeaten records on the line, with 35-year-old Fury winning 34 of his 35 pro bouts with one draw against Deontay Wilder.

Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, has won all 21 of his bouts.

The Ukrainian, 36, was last in action in August, recording a controversial stoppage over Britain's Daniel Dubois.

Updated: November 15, 2023, 8:45 AM