Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk settle on date for unification fight


The two heavyweights will face off in Saudi Arabia next year (Picture: Getty)

Tyson Fury’s long-awaited unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk is set to be announced this week after an agreement was struck to face off in February.

The two heavyweights had hoped to do battle on December 23 in Saudi Arabia but Fury’s tougher-than-expected fight against MMA star Francis Ngannou last month prompted a delay.

According to ESPN, the undisputed bout has now been rearranged for February 17 and will once again take place in Riyadh.

The fight is expected to be officially announced on Thursday this week, with all four of the major heavyweight world titles – WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO – on the line.

Fury sent a video message to Usyk at Tuesday’s WBC convention, saying: ‘Usyk, get ready, because I’m smashing you into pieces. Four rounds and you’re out of there!’

The looming announcement coincides with news of an enormous night of boxing in Riyadh on December 23, with a host of huge names secured to fill the void left by Usyk and Fury.

A press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday evening to announce the plans in full, but Deontay Wilder, Otto Wallin and Jai Opetaia have all touched down in London.

Heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder will fight on December 23 – but not against each other (Picture: Getty)

Although many had hoped to see Wilder take on Anthony Joshua, the American is set to take on Joseph Parker instead – though AJ will fight on the same card against Wallin.

Boxing officials in Saudi want to put on one of the biggest shows in the sport’s history with Wilder and Joshua the co-headliners, though there could be a smorgasbord of other eye-catching fights on the menu too.

Opetaia will defend his IBF cruiserweight crown, potentially in a rematch against Mairis Briedis, while Daniel Dubois could also be on the undercard in a showdown with Jarell Miller.

It is also being reported by Dan Rafael that Dmitry Bivol will make an appearance on December 23, defending his WBA light heavyweight title against Lyndon Arthur.

The likes of Filip Hrgovic, Arslanbek Makhmudov, Frank Sanchez and Junior Fa could also be involved.

Full details of the event will be announced on Wednesday but it is shaping up to be a true Christmas cracker of boxing entertainment – and a perfect appetiser before Usyk and Fury’s unification fight in February.

MORE : Deontay Wilder arrives in London as speculation intensifies over Saudi Arabia show with Anthony Joshua in December

MORE : Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder opponents revealed with rivals set to fight on the same night in December in Saudi Arabia

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