Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk rearranged for May 18 in Saudi Arabia

Initial fight date on February 17 had to be scrapped after Fury suffered a cut to his eye in training

Powered by automated translation

The undisputed heavyweight world title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been rearranged for May 18, the promoters have announced.

The historic bout in Riyadh, which will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era, was initially scheduled for February 17, but WBC title holder Fury suffered a cut above his eye in training, forcing the fight to be postponed.

Initial reports had claimed Fury, who required 11 stitches, would not be ready to fight until at least June, but organisers have moved quickly to secure a new fight date.

“The undisputed heavyweight championship fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been rescheduled to May 18th in Riyadh," read a statement from Fury's promoters Queensbury Promotions on social media.

It is the second time Fury's planned fight with Usyk – holder of the WBO, WBA, and IBF titles – has been delayed after an initial slot in December failed to materialise.

Fury, 35, won his WBC championship after knocking out American Deontay Wilder in 2020, while 37-year-old Usyk won his belts after outscoring Britain's Anthony Joshua in 2021. Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers.

Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia's general entertainment authority, told the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he was confident the fight would happen on the new date.

"This fight I want it to happen," he said. "On 18th of May we will have Tyson-Usyk... on the 18th we will have the answer."

Alalshikh said May 18 also met a deadline set by the IBF for the fight to happen. Had the deadline been missed, Usyk was at risk of vacating his IBF belt and therefore scuppering hopes of an undisputed title fight.

Both Fury and Usyk appeared on the show via video links, Fury in Saudi Arabia and Usyk from his training camp in Spain, and said they had agreed the new date.

Fury explained that he had arranged to spar 12 rounds with four different boxers and suffered the injury in round five, requiring a hospital trip and 11 stitches.

"They have the medical reports, they have everything... nothing much anybody can do about getting a cut in sparring. [It] happens. Never had one before. First time for everything," he said.

Fury also brushed aside a suggestion from Usyk's camp that he was looking for a way out.

"Why would I not want to fight for the biggest pay day in my life?," he asked. "I've put 10 weeks in a training camp. Why would I not want to fight?"

Usyk said his reaction to the news of the postponement was "just smile. I just smile and go to training."

Saudi organisers said on Friday that tickets for the original fight would be refunded.

Updated: February 04, 2024, 5:30 AM