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Oleksandr Usyk offers new date for Tyson Fury fight

The Ukrainian was set to fight Fury in December but the encounter is set to be delayed

Harry Latham-Coyle
Wednesday 08 November 2023 15:34 GMT
Tyson Fury hints at next steps after Francis Ngannou victory

Oleksandr Usyk wants his undisputed heavyweight clash with Tyson Fury to take place in February.

The Ukrainian, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title belts, had been set to take on the Englishman on 23 December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

That date has been pushed back, though, in the aftermath of Fury’s near upset against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou.

With Fury still recovering from that encounter, Usyk has admitted that there will be a delay, but the two-weight world champion believes a February date would be perfect for a much-anticipated fight.

“It could be February and I would very much like it to be February,” Usyk told Reuters. “I was ready to fight on the 23rd but since Fury got some injuries in the last fight, a knockdown, then probably it will be postponed to next year.

“I’ll just do more technical work. Technically, nothing changes. I just have a little more time for some additional tasks, and that’s it.

Oleksandr Usyk watched Tyson Fury’s win over Francis Ngannou from ringside (Getty Images)

“I don’t think about Tyson Fury at all ... I think about myself, about my team, about my family. I don’t need to think about my opponent. I just need to be with him, fight and that’s it.”

Usyk possesses an unblemished 21-0 record as a professional fighter, including back-to-back wins over Anthony Joshua after stepping up to heavyweight level.

He last fought Daniel Dubois in Poland in August in a controversial bout.

Fury, meanwhile, was knocked down by professional boxing debutant Ngannou in Saudi Arabia in October and only narrowly secured victory via split decision.

The 35-year-old’s WBC belt was not on the line in the clash, but Fury subsequently described it as one of his “toughest fights”.

“That definitely wasn’t in the script,” Fury said afterwards to TNT Sports.

“I got caught round the back of the head [for the knockdown]. I wasn’t hurt. I got up and got back to my boxing.

“He’s an awkward man and a good puncher and I respect him a lot. He’s given me one of my toughest fights of the last 10 years.”

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