Connect with us

Boxing

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk: Saturday’s Riyadh showdown

Published

on

Boxing stars Fury and Usyk go head-to-head in Riyadh on Saturday. GETTY IMAGES

British heavyweight boxing titleholder Tyson Fury and Ukrainian challenger Oleksandr Usyk are set to battle for the undisputed heavyweight world championship this Saturday at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena.

As per a media statement released on Wednesday, the winner will claim the four championship belts in a unification match for boxing’s most prestigious global organisations: the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and the World Boxing Organisation (WBO).

The four belts prominently display images of boxing legends such as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. The statement further noted that both Fury and Usyk aim to etch their names alongside these iconic figures in boxing history.

Saturday’s highly anticipated match will mark a milestone in modern boxing, being the first time that the four belts will be unified in a single fight. This event pays homage to the esteemed legacy of past champions who have shaped the sport’s championship titles. 

It appears that size plays a significant role, as southpaw Usyk gives up 15 centimetres (6 inches) in height to Fury, who stands at 2.06 meters (6 feet 9 inches), as well as 18 centimetres in reach and nearly 22 kilograms (49 pounds) in weight. “To win this, I don’t need to be heavy, I need to be fast, and quick,” Usyk told Ring magazine in February. “You never see a fat wolf in the forest.”

Advertisement

His flawless record of 21 victories and zero losses as a professional, with 14 of those wins coming by knockout, speaks volumes, and he also won Olympic gold in London in 2012. “I respect Usyk as a man,” said Fury ahead of the showdown.

-insidethegames

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Boxing

Furious Fury to clash again with Usyk in October

Published

on

All hope is not lost for Tyson Fury who lost his WBC heavyweight championship belt to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia early this Sunday morning.

Both boxer had agreed before the unification bout that the loser of their fight would be eligible to trigger a rematch.

Owing to the two-way rematch clause, there will be a second showdown. As for a date, nothing is set in stone. The hopeful Saudi boxing chief Turki Alalshikh confirmed that a rematch is likely to go ahead on 12th/13th October 2024, not taking into account exceptional circumstances such as injuries or unforeseen events.

Continue Reading

Boxing

Sympathy for Ukraine behind Usyk’s heavyweight win, says Fury

Published

on

Heavyweight Tyson Fury said sympathy for Ukraine was behind the judges’ awarding a split-decision victory to Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight title fight on Sunday, with the Briton calling for an immediate rematch.

After cruising through the middle of the fight, Fury never recovered from a standing eight count in the ninth round, and the judges gave the fight to Usyk, making him the first undisputed heavyweight champion in almost 25 years.

“I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds but I won the majority of them …. His country’s at war, and people are siding with the country at war, but make no mistake, I won that fight,” Fury said in a post-fight interview in the ring.

Ukraine has been fighting a Russian invasion that started more than two years ago.

“I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause,” the previously undefeated Fury added, with promoter Frank Warren saying in the ring another fight between the two was a certainty.

Advertisement

“That’s what the contract says. It’s what he wants. It’s his call, it’s Tyson’s call. So whatever he wants to do, it’s up to him,” Warren said.

After an intriguing 12-round battle that saw both men enjoy success, plenty of boxing fans would relish the chance to see the pair go at it again, especially after Usyk managed to turn the tide.

“We’ll go back to our families and I’ll see him again in October. We’ll go back, rest up. I believe I won the fight but I’m not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We’ll run it again in October,” Fury said.

Asked if he would be prepared to face Fury again, Usyk, who did not respond directly to Fury’s claim, was unequivocal.

“Yes, of course,” the 37-year-old Ukrainian said.

Advertisement

-Reuters

Continue Reading

Boxing

BREAKING! Usyk beats Fury to become undisputed heavyweight champ

Published

on

Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk - Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - May 19, 2024 Oleksandr Usyk celebrates with the belts after winning the fight to become the undisputed heavyweight world champion Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge REUTERS

Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine has entered into  boxing immortality as becomes the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis secured all four major titles in 1999.

The Ukrainian  scored a razor-thin split decision over Tyson Fury in a thrilling contest at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Dwarfed by his enormous opponent, Usyk had to weather a storm in the middle of the fight but he came roaring back, forcing Fury to take a standing count in the ninth round as he blazed his way to victory.

The 37-year-old Ukrainian is the first boxer to hold all four major heavyweight belts at the same time and the first undisputed champ since the end of Lennox Lewis’ reign in April 2000.

Usyk got the better of the opening rounds before Fury hit his stride in the fourth, engaging in some showmanship as he started to catch Usyk with vicious body shots, but the Ukrainian battled back with several stinging reminders of his power.

Advertisement

Usyk turned the tide in the eighth round and few would have been surprised had the referee stopped the fight in the ninth as the Ukrainian’s powerful punches to the head left Fury reeling.

The previously undefeated Briton managed to hang on until the bell but he struggled through the final three rounds of the fight as Usyk chased him down to edge him out on the judges’ scorecards.

“Thank you so much. … It’s a big opportunity for me, for my family, for my country. … It’s a great time, it’s a great day,” a tearful Usyk said in a post-fight interview in the ring, adding that he would grant Fury an immediate rematch.

In the co-main event, Australia’s Jai Opetaia won a unanimous decision over Mairis Briedis of Latvia to win the vacant IBF cruiserweight title, and Ireland’s Anthony Cacace scored a TKO win over Joe Cordina of Wales to retain his IBO super-featherweight title and claim the IBF belt.

Reuters

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Most Viewed