Fury: Ngannou ‘among the hardest battles’ of the last years (0:44)
Tyson Fury credits Francis Ngannou for his efficiency in their battle, declaring it as his hardest of the previous years. (0:44)
Mike Coppinger, ESPNOct 31, 2023, 06:34 PM ET
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will defend the undeniable heavyweight champion in February in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, sources informed ESPN.
Fury-Usyk was prepared for Dec. 23 before Fury had a hard time in a tougher-than-expected bout with previous UFC champ Francis Ngannou on Saturday in Riyadh. Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) was cut over the forehead and the left eye en path to a split-decision success over Ngannou, who was making his professional boxing launching.
Fury, 35, was even dropped in Round 3, the seventh knockdown of his renowned profession.
Fury and Usyk signed agreements for their long-awaited fight for heavyweight supremacy weeks before “The Gyspy King” stepped through the ropes to eliminate Ngannou in a 10-round non-title bout.
After the choice was revealed, Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) got in the ring to challenge Fury and established their face-off.
“23 of December, I’m all set to eliminate,” stated Usyk, who entered the ring after the choice was rendered. “Let’s go now if you desire,” stated Fury, the WBC heavyweight champ.” … He’s a smaller sized guy than Francis, I constantly stated Francis was a far more unsafe battle than Oleksandr.”
The day before the bout, Usyk published on Instagram: “Francis, beware with Tyson, I require him in the ring on Dec. 23.” Now, Usyk will have to wait 2 extra months to lastly get his hands on Fury.
Fury and Usyk were surrounding an offer to satisfy this previous April at London’s Wembley Stadium before talks collapsed at the 11th hour.
Usyk, 36, is an Olympic gold medalist and previous undeniable cruiserweight champ. The Ukrainian holds the WBA, WBO and IBF titles, belts he won from Anthony Joshua in 2021. Usyk kept the titles in the rematch with another choice nod over Joshua last summer season in Saudi Arabia.
Now that the battle vs. Fury will happen in 2024, it guarantees Usyk will go another year with just one battle. The last time Usyk combated several times in one year: 2018, when he contended 3 times.
He last battled in August, when he scored a ninth-round KO of Daniel Dubois in Poland. Usyk is ESPN’s No. 2 heavyweight and No. 3 pound-for-pound fighterFury went into the bout ranked No. 1 at heavyweight and No. 6 pound-for-pound. England’s Fury combated two times in 2015, both TKO wins at soccer arenas in London (in April vs. Dilian Whyte and December vs. Derek Chisora).
This is Fury’s 2nd title reign. He beat another Ukrainian, Wladimir Klitschko, in 2015 for 3 heavyweight titles through choice in an upset. Fury never ever safeguarded those titles and rather ran out the ring for two-and-a-half years due to anxiety and drug abuse. He depended on 400-plus pounds throughout that time.
After Fury returned from that hiatus, he developed himself as one of boxing’s leading stars with a traditional heavyweight title trilogy with Deontay Wilder, whom he stopped two times after an attract the very first conference. Fury’s 3rd battle with Wilder was ESPN’s 2021 Fight of the Year and KO of the Year.
The Fury-Usyk offer consists of a two-way rematch provision, essentially guaranteeing 2 successive battles in between the set for 10s of countless dollars.