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Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk: Undisputed heavyweight fight rescheduled for 18 May in Saudi Arabia

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk pose for pictures
Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era

Tyson Fury's undisputed heavyweight title fight against Oleksandr Usyk has been rescheduled for 18 May.

Fury, 35, had been due to fight Ukraine's Usyk on 17 February but withdrew from the contest on Friday after sustaining a cut in sparring.

The Briton is the WBC champion while Ukraine's Usyk, 37, holds the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.

Their bout in Saudi Arabia will crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era.

Usyk wished Fury a speedy recovery and said he was "ready to fight for undisputed any time, anywhere".

The Ukrainian had been in talks to fight Croatia's Filip Hrgovic as a replacement for Fury on the February date.

Hrgovic is the mandatory challenger to Usyk's IBF belt and there were fears he could be stripped of that title if Fury was sidelined for several months.

But in a fast-moving 24 hours, Saudi Arabian organisers and Team Fury moved quickly to secure a new date for the undisputed bout.

Speaking on the MMA Hour, Fury took aim at Usyk's manager Egis Klimas who questioned the legitimacy of his injury.

"Egis, never call me a coward again," he said. "[I have] never backed down from any man in my life."

There has not been an undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in 1999.

Fury's cut above his right eye required "urgent medical attention" and "significant stitching". It is the third time since 2023 a fight date between Usyk and Fury has been rescheduled.

Event organiser Turki Alalashikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia's general entertainment authority, said if either Usyk or Fury withdrew from the new date they would forfeit £9.3m to the other fighter.

It has also been announced that Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev will fight on 1 June in a light-heavyweight undisputed fight between two undefeated champions.

Bivol holds the WBA (Super) title while Beterbiev has the WBO, IBF and WBC belts.

The Russians will headline Matchroom's five-versus-five card against Queensberry Promotions where five of Eddie Hearn's best fighters will fight five of Frank Warren's best.

It continues Saudi Arabia's massive spending in the sport of boxing with Anthony Joshua v Francis Ngannou the next major event set to take place in the kingdom on 9 March.

Saudi Arabia has become a global hub for boxing but has provoked scrutiny due to the country's poor human rights record - 81 men were executed on one day in 2022 - women's rights abuses, the criminalisation of homosexuality, the restriction of free speech and the war in Yemen.

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