Thursday, November 16th 2023
Riyadh Season: Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk Meet on February 17 for Undisputed Championship in the “Ring of Fire”
Fury returns to Saudi Arabia’s capital to fight Usyk to crown the division’s first undisputed champion since 1999.
WBC and Lineal Champion Tyson ‘The Gypsy King’ Fury will fight WBO/IBF/WBA unified champ Oleksandr Usyk in a history-making showdown on Saturday, February 17, at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The winner will become boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Britain’s Lennox Lewis claimed that honor 24 years ago, but this time four belts are on the line.
Ahead of the blockbuster ‘Ring of Fire’ fight, Fury and Usyk came face-to-face at a press conference held in London on Thursday, November 16.
“Usyk, you can run, but The Gypsy King is coming to get you. This is my era, and your time is up. Your undefeated record AND your belts, they will be mine!” Fury said. “Thank you to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and His Excellency Turki Alalshikh for bringing this undisputed title fight to the beautiful Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I had an amazing time here when I fought Ngannou, and I am ready to do it again. This time, The Gypsy King will return to England as the undisputed heavyweight king.”
“I have no goal,” said Usyk. “Only the way. And my way is ‘The Undisputed.’ That is why this was the only fight for me. When that bell rings, I will bring the fire.”
“Since our first Riyadh Season in 2019, the Season has developed a reputation for hosting the biggest events and they do not come much bigger than the undisputed heavyweight title fight,” said His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority. “This is history in the making, a fight the world has waited for. Now it is a reality, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is excited to be hosting this era-defining fight. This will be a global spectacle and we will do everything to ensure that everyone has an experience that matches an event of this magnitude.”
“The relationship between Riyadh Season and the sport of boxing will reach unparalleled new levels on February 17, when it stages the first undisputed heavyweight fight for 24 years” said Frank Warren of Queensberry. “Tyson Fury taking on Oleksandr Usyk is simply the biggest fight that can be made in boxing and is what the world wants to see. And we take this opportunity to thank His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for his blessed vision which is achieving great accomplishments. We also thank His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and Riyadh Season for making it happen.”
“Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are the best heavyweights of their era, and this undisputed battle in the beautiful city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, promises to be a sensational fight and a history-making event,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Fury is an all-time great heavyweight champion, but you can never count out Usyk, a former Olympic champion who has already conquered two weight divisions.”
Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) has been the reigning heavyweight champion since November 2015. Taking a break from boxing due to personal challenges, Fury made an impressive comeback by defeating Deontay Wilder to claim the WBC world title in their rematch and sealing their trilogy with a knockout victory in 2021.
Ukraine’s Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs), an Olympic gold medalist, decided to move up from the cruiserweight division to the heavyweight division after establishing his dominance there. He caused an upset by defeating Anthony Joshua and becoming the unified heavyweight champion. Usyk successfully defended his titles against Joshua in a rematch. Now, he sets his sights on becoming only the second cruiserweight champion ever to achieve undisputed status in the heavyweight division.