Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury rematch will take place in Saudi Arabia on December 21

Ukrainian became first undisputed world heavyweight champion for almost a quarter of a century after last bout in Riyadh

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The rematch between undisputed heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury has been announced for December 21 with the fight once again taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Usyk inflicted the first defeat in Fury's career when the pair met in Riyadh on May 18 when the Ukrainian came out on top in a split points verdict to become the first undisputed champion of the four-belt era.

Fury immediately called for rematch claiming that he had won the fight, despite receiving a standing count and being saved by the bell after a relentless Usyk onslaught in the ninth round.

The scorecards read 115-112 and 114-113 for Usyk, with a third judge scoring it 114-113 to Fury leaving the Briton defeated for the first time in his 36-fight professional career.

“The rematch between the Undisputed Champion Oleksandr Usyk and the Champion Tyson Fury is now scheduled on the 21 of December 2024 during Riyadh Season,” Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia's general entertainment authority, said in a post on X on Wednesday.

“The world will watch another historical fight again. Our commitment to boxing fans continues. We hope you enjoy it.”

Usyk's win meant he became the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 after he added Fury's WBC belt to his WBA, WBO and IBF collection.

When asked if he was interested in the rematch with Fury, Usyk said: “I don't think about boxing now, because I started preparing in September 2023. Nine months, I missed New Year, birthdays of my sons and daughter, I missed all my family holidays. All the time I was only training, my only focus was this fight.

“Now I'm happy and I want to get back home. Go to my church, pray, and say thank you to Jesus, because for me and my country, this is a big moment. I'm grateful to everyone who prayed for me because it was a lot of people.”

But it has not taken long for the rematch clause to be activated and the second fight to find its way on to the boxing calendar, although it is unlikely that all four belts will be on the line again with the IBF planning to strip Usyk as he will not be facing its mandatory challenger next.

It looks likely that British fighter Daniel Dubois and Croatia's Filip Hrgovic will meet for the vacant crown on June 1, again in Riyadh, with the winner then poised to take on former world champion Anthony Joshua later in the year. This could potentially tee-up Joshua to take on the winner of Usyk-Fury II in the kingdom in the first part of 2025.

Hrgovic earned his place as their mandatory challenger by beating Zhilei Zhang in 2022 and has been patiently waiting for his shot ever since.

Frank Warren, who promotes Fury and Dubois, told Sky Sports last week: “He's [Usyk] done something no one else has done. He's unified the four belts. Four belts on the line is the start. I'm quite sure they'll fragment after that. And then it'll happen again.

“We're in such a good place as a sport and there are such good things happening you just can't see it ending, because there's so many good fights to be made.

“We've got the [Usyk vs Fury] rematch, provided AJ keeps winning [he can be in the mix], and then you've got all our youngsters coming through.

“Hrgovic and him [Dubois] is a great fight and the winner of that, I think everybody's going to be happy with who the winner fights.”

Updated: May 29, 2024, 6:35 PM