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Fury v Usyk world-title fight rescheduled for Riyadh

EPA PHOTO

The postponed world heavyweight title unification fight between Britain's Tyson Fury and Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk has been rescheduled for Riyadh on May 18.

The bout was originally marked for February 17 in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh but was postponed on Friday after Fury suffered a cut during sparring.

The 'Ring of Fire' match-up was set to unify Fury's WBC heavyweight championship with Usyk's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts, crowning the first unified heavyweight boxing champion since 1999.

Fury, 35, won his WBC championship after knocking out American Deontay Wilder in 2020, while 37-year-old Usyk won his belts after outscoring Britain's Anthony Joshua in 2021.

Both boxers are undefeated in their professional careers.

Queensberry Promotions' Frank Warren, the promoter of the fight, said on Friday that Fury had been sparring with a Croatian heavyweight whose elbow caught the Briton over the right eye, opening a cut that needed "significant stitching".

The postponement from the original date also left Australian cruiserweight Jay Opetaia's rematch with Latvian Mairis Briedis for the IBF title - on the same card - in limbo.

Opetaia's manager Mick Francis on Saturday flagged a switch from February 17 to the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou card in Riyadh on March 8.

He's also pitched for the fight to return to Australia after the pair's memorable war on the Gold Coast in July 2022.

Saudi organisers Riyadh Season said on Friday that tickets for the original fight would be refunded.