Tyson Fury was previously scheduled to face Oleksandr Usyk to unify the WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles on Dec. 23 in Riyadh; however, the fight has been called off, according to promoter Frank Warren. That’s because “The Gypsy King” spent 10 rounds getting knocked around by former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, a stunning, split decision
loss victory that turned the boxing world upside down.
Warren expects the bout to be rescheduled for early 2024.
“Yes we are going to see it,” Warren told talkSPORT (transcribed by John Balfe). “It’ll be on in the new year and the date will be announced in the next few weeks. Tyson wanted a fight on the 23rd but he won’t be ready. That was a tough fight for him, he has a couple of bumps and bruises. He’s been in camp for twelve weeks and he can’t be expected to go straight into a camp having had that type of fight. It was a much tougher fight than any of us expected it to be. But it will go on, and that will be when he is 100-percent right — and that will be early next year.”
I guess Fury vs. Ngannou wasn’t “the biggest joke on the planet” after all.
“Uncle Frank says some sneaky things,” Usyk told Boxing King Media. “We have a contract that says the fight has to take place on Dec. 23. Let Fury vacate his title first, then he can take his rest. Tyson, we must fight. We must do it, Dec. 23. See you in the ring. I love you.”
Fury tried to warn us that booking Usyk before the Ngannou fight was a bad idea.
“It wasn’t my choice,” Fury told The MMA Hour just days before his Ngannou fight. “I would never in a million years do that. But the people who are putting these fights on, who are paying the money, they’re in control. They’re the promoters of the event. So the paymaster does what the paymaster wants, basically. But if it was up to me, I would have never, ever, ever done that. Ever. Because I never count chickens before they hatch. Ever.”
Expect a new date (or perhaps a new lawsuit) to materialize in the coming weeks.