After years of waiting, boxing fans will finally see the crowning of the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999. WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury faces IBF, WBA, WBO, and Ring Magazine counterpart Oleksandr Usyk for all the gold on February 17. The fight takes place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during Riyadh Season.
After beating Wladimir Klitschko to become the lineal champion, Fury was stripped of the belts due to a suspension (after testing positive for a banned substance) and to focus on mental health.
When fully healthy and active, “The Gypsy King” was almost unstoppable, defeating Deontay Wilder to win and retain WBC gold before repeating the triumph in The Ring Fight of the Year for 2021. The Englishman has since taken down countrymen Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora but looked way below par in outpointing Francis Ngannou in October.
“It’s been 24 years since we’ve last had an undisputed heavyweight world champion,” Fury said. “And we know that the Klitschkos were champions for about ten years, so there’s been another 14 years where other heavyweights couldn’t stop it. So we’ve been chosen. And I believe we’re both destined to be here. And there’s only one winner: I’m destined to become undisputed champion.”
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Usyk is fighting to become a two-time undisputed champion, having already done so at the cruiserweight level. The Ukrainian beat Anthony Joshua twice to win and retain his status as the unified champion. While his last fight against Daniel Dubois was deemed by some as controversial, he’s ready for his biggest challenge.
“I want to tell a story that looks very similar to our story with Tyson, about David and Goliath,” Usyk said. “When the Lord gives me Tyson in my hands, I will do my job.”
While it’s still a few months away, there is already plenty of interest in terms of betting. The Sporting News provides the odds for this clash of heavyweights:
Betting odds to be updated:
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Per the FanDuel Sportsbook, Tyson Fury is the -172 favorite, while Oleksandr Usyk is the +134 underdog.
Per Bet 365, Tyson Fury is the -250 favorite, while Oleksandr Usyk is the +200 underdog.
Betting trends are not available for this fight at the moment.