The undisputed heavyweight championship title fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23.
However, in true Fury fashion there are some potential obstacles to overcome ahead of getting the two champions in the ring two days before Christmas. WBC belt holder Fury collides with MMA heavyweight star Francis Ngannou on October 28 in the same location.
ProBox TV caught up with Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk at the WBO Congress Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to get the latest on the heavyweight mega fight, which had until yesterday been threatened to not be an undisputed bout due to the IBF.
“Yes, thanks to Daryl Peoples and the IBF they have rendered the world with the opportunity to see the undisputed heavyweight championship.” Krassyuk said in an exclusive interview. “That’s subject to Fury’s next fight with Francis Ngannou, nobody trusts that something serious might happen, you never know, it’s heavyweights, I’m not talking even about Tyson losing, but an injury, very simple. We have it in our mind that we will fight him by the end of this year, but we have to wait until October 28th.
“Regarding Zhilei Zhang, the [WBO] interim champion, there is a rotational system for a unified championship. The next mandatory due is for the IBF with Filip Hrgovic, as soon as Tyson Fury fights Oleksandr Usyk the next step will be to fight that mandatory or vacate the [IBF] title, that’s the sort of thing that normally happens in boxing. The good thing is that we are closer to the undisputed heavyweight championship than ever! We have signed the contract, we have signed the deal. We have proper people standing behind the fight, Saudi people. We have Tyson, we have Usyk, both guys ready and happy to go.”
Usyk had signed a co-promotional agreement with the Saudi based Skill Challenge Entertainment who were on the co-promotional banner of his last fight in Wroclaw, Poland. However, the partnership came to an abrupt end despite the pound-4-pound star still being Saudi backed.
“The new player, sometimes when you say ‘new’ you mean something old and forgotten.” Krassyuk explained. “The company working with Riyadh Season was actually the first to bring boxing to Saudi with the World Boxing Super Series. Usyk was meant to be boxing on the first professional event in Saudi for the final with Murat Gassiev for the cruiserweight championship, but Usyk got injured and needed to get surgery. Unfortunately the fight went to Moscow. They ended up having the [WBSS] super middleweight championship in Saudi instead. Callum Smith became the champion. Turki Alalshikh is the leader, Newcastle Football Club, it’s the same people. They are quite good in sports and they work hard to make Saudi the new destination for sports. You will be surprised, it was my first impression when I went there. It’s a great country, they are making some improvements in the politics, they are making their country look different.
“With the help of God we will be witnessing this huge fight. We have been waiting for it for so long. Hopefully Fury gets there without any injuries, whether he wins or loses he remains the WBC heavyweight champion. We are just one step from the biggest heavyweight fight in this century.”
After many failed negotiations, the pair of heavyweights have finally signed on the dotted line, with only injuries appearing to be of any real threat to disrupt the long awaited contest.
“You have to read between the lines, when people say they talk about nothing it actually means they are talking about money.” Krassyuk added. “My understanding was that Fury got satisfied with his contract for the fight in Saudi, that’s why he gave his consent. The reason why our fight in London did not take place, it’s about money. I’m not aware of his conditions, but if he signs it means it’s something that he is happy about.
“Usyk is good, his wife is pregnant. They are expecting their fourth to come. He is already starting training and preparation for the upcoming fight. This is the biggest fight of career, his life!”