Heavyweight champions Fury, Usyk agree unification bout

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Tyson Fury (left) forecast a clash with Oleksandr Usyk sometime in February or March. PHOTOS: REUTERS

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk have agreed to fight each other next in a world heavyweight title unification bout, according to veteran boxing promoter Bob Arum.

Fury defeated his British rival Derek Chisora for the third time in his career to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) title earlier in December.

He then called out Ukrainian hero Usyk, the IBF (International Boxing Federation), IBO (International Boxing Organisation), WBO (World Boxing Organisation) and WBA (World Boxing Association) belt-holder, who was ringside at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Following that fight, the 34-year-old Fury forecast a clash with Usyk, either in Saudi Arabia or Britain, sometime in February or March.

“The two fighters have agreed to fight each other next,” the 91-year-old Arum told Sky Sports on Tuesday.

“With Fury and Usyk we’re dealing with two adults, not a lot of (rubbish) back and forth. Usyk is a good friend of mine, he’s very intelligent and Tyson is Superman, both as an athlete and as an intellect.”

The American, involved in some of Muhammad Ali’s celebrated contests of the 1970s, added: “So they want the fight. Both of them want the fight and so there’ll be very little, if any, (messing) around.

“Now the question is what’s the date and what’s the site. But that fight is definitely going to happen and it will happen in the first four months of next year.

“It shouldn’t be too long before a final decision is made. We’ll have it all sorted out, I hope maybe by the end of the year.” 

Usyk, 35, has twice defeated Anthony Joshua, firstly depriving the Briton of his world titles at Tottenham in September 2021 before defeating him again in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this July.

In September, he said of a possible contest with Fury: “I would really like to see this fight happen next year.

“We do not know what is on his mind. This is Tyson Fury, everyone knows that he is a very crazy kid.”

If the fight were to take place in the UK, Wembley is a very likely venue, while a fight in the Middle East could see a much larger purse available for both fighters.

“We are balancing a couple of significant offers from the Middle East and also there’s the possibility of doing the fight in the UK at Wembley (stadium) with a massive 95,000 crowd in attendance,” added Arum.

“Fighters have a relatively short life and money is important. So if the money which has been proposed to us is real that has to be taken into consideration.

“But to go back to Wembley and do a fight before 95,000 people for me really stirs up the blood.”

AFP/Reuters

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