A heavyweight showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is now reportedly being eyed for February next year in Saudi Arabia, according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger.
The fight looked to be initially set to take place on December 23rd prior to WBC champion Fury’s narrow victory over Francis Ngannou at the weekend.
Coppinger also reports that a two-way rematch clause will be in place for the fight – meaning a second clash between the pair will be almost guaranteed for later in the year.Embed from Getty Images
Above: Fury and Usyk came face-to-face following the bout in Riyadh. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Fight pushed back after Ngannou scare
Usyk, who holds the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles, was ringside to witness Fury climbing off the canvas to eventually earn a contentious ten-round split-decision win over Ngannou in Riyadh.
The Brit looked a shell of the fighter seen in recent years as he was floored for the seventh time as a professional by the boxing debutant.
He also appeared buzzed in the eighth but was awarded the victory by two judges sitting ringside (96-93, 95-94).
Fury had told Sky Sports prior to the bout that Usyk was legally contracted to a bout in December but the tone from the Brit’s camp switched following his win in the Middle East.Embed from Getty Images
Above: Ngannou stunned the boxing world when he floored Fury in the third round. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Usyk insists on Dec. 23 date
Ukraine’s Usyk posted a video to his social media on Monday where he was resolute on facing the WBC beltholder later this year.
“Hey, greedy…my friend Tyson Fury…I’m ready, 23 December – are you ready?” he asked.
Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren has ensured that his fighter get adequate rest before competing in the sport’s first undisputed heavyweight fight in over two decades.
“We were going to do it in December. I doubt that will happen now,” he admitted to the BBC.
“He needs at least a bit of time to get himself, his body, back into shape. Let it heal. Then get into a camp. It will be on early next year.”