Riyadh Season: Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk Meet on February 17 for Undisputed Championship in ‘Ring of Fire’ – Fury returns to Saudi Arabia’s capital to fight Usyk to crown the division’s first undisputed champion since 1999.
Riyadh, Here We Come: Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk for Undisputed Heavyweight Glory – February 17, 2023
Boxing’s heavyweight scene is about to explode in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We’re talking about Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk throwing down for the undisputed heavyweight crown on February 17 at Kingdom Arena. This isn’t just any fight; it’s the first time since 1999 that all four belts are up for grabs.
The big talk happened at a London press conference. Fury, ever the charmer, told Usyk, “You can run, but you can’t hide. The Gypsy King is gunning for you. Your undefeated record? Your belts? They’re as good as mine!” He also threw in a thank you to the Saudi royals for hosting this showdown.
As for Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs), he’s been the man to beat since 2015, making a killer comeback after a break and taking down Deontay Wilder. Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs), the Ukrainian powerhouse, moved up from cruiserweight and shook the world by beating Anthony Joshua. Now, he’s eyeing a rare feat: being the second cruiserweight to become an undisputed heavyweight champ.
“Usyk, you can’t hide from me. This is my time, and I’m coming for you. Your perfect record and your titles are as good as mine,” declared Fury. “I’m grateful to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and His Excellency Turki Alalshikh for hosting this ultimate title fight in Saudi Arabia. My previous fight here against Ngannou was a blast, and I’m all set to repeat that experience. This time, I will return to England as the undisputed heavyweight king.”
“I don’t chase goals; I follow my path, and that path is ‘The Undisputed.’ This fight was the only choice for me. When the fight starts, I’ll be bringing my all,” Usyk said confidently.
His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority
“Since the inaugural Riyadh Season in 2019, we’ve become known for hosting grand events, and this undisputed heavyweight title fight is no exception. It’s a historic event, eagerly awaited by the world. Now, it’s becoming a reality in Saudi Arabia, and we’re thrilled to be the hosts. We’re committed to ensuring an experience that befits an event of this scale,” Alalshikh expressed.
Frank Warren, Queensberry
“The relationship between Riyadh Season and boxing is scaling new heights with the first undisputed heavyweight fight in 24 years scheduled for February 17,” Warren stated. “Tyson Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk is the pinnacle of boxing matches, eagerly anticipated by fans worldwide. We extend our gratitude to His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his visionary leadership and to His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and Riyadh Season for making this possible.”
Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman
“Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk represent the best heavyweights of their time. This undisputed battle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is set to be a sensational and historic event,” Arum noted. “Fury is a legendary heavyweight champion, but Usyk, a former Olympic champion and conqueror of two weight divisions, is not to be underestimated.”
Alex Krassyuk, Manager of Oleksandr Usyk
“The world finally gets what it’s been waiting for!” exclaimed Krassyuk. “I’m proud of Usyk and have respect for Tyson. May the best man win, and we’re looking forward to celebrating Usyk’s second undisputed victory!”
Fury, with a record of 34 wins, no losses, and one draw, and 24 KOs, has held the heavyweight championship title since November 2015. He took some time off from the sport due to personal issues but returned in a big way. Fury won against Deontay Wilder, securing the WBC world title in their second fight, and then finished their trilogy with a knockout win in 2021.
Ukraine’s Usyk, who has an undefeated record of 21-0 with 14 KOs and is an Olympic gold medalist, chose to move up to the heavyweight division after ruling the cruiserweight division. He surprised many by beating Anthony Joshua, thus becoming the unified heavyweight champion. After defending his titles in a rematch against Joshua, Usyk now aims to be only the second boxer in history to move from cruiserweight to undisputed heavyweight champion.