AT LAST we have a world heavyweight title unification fight officially confirmed, and the boxing betting odds are set for Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk’s stoppage win over Daniel Dubois in August, and Fury’s unimpressive split decision against former UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou in October, mean that there are no further obstacles to the biggest fight in boxing.
Fury and Usyk hold all of the accepted world titles in the sport’s marquee weight class, and a fight between the pair is now about to happen at last. Get the popcorn ready…
Latest Fury vs Usyk Odds
Not surprisingly the betting is pretty close here, with Fury just holding the edge as the early favorite. Remember he is likely to be around 40lbs heavier (circa three stones) than his Ukrainian opponent on fight night.
‘The Gypsy King’ is currently trading at -158 (bet $158 to win $100) with FanDuel, while Usyk is the +144 (bet $100 to win $144) underdog. The Draw – always a possibility in huge and closely matched fights like this – is a +1280 bet.
When will the fight happen?
So at last we have an official date – Fury vs Usyk will go down in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday February 17, 2024. Ring walks are expected to take place between 5pm ET and 6pm ET (2pm-3pm PST).
How to watch Fury vs Usyk on US TV
As of now no confirmed details, but here is what we know:
- Fury’s recent fights have all aired on ESPN in the United States, courtesy of a huge deal he signed with the Worldwide Leader.
- Usyk’s recent fights have aired on streaming platform DAZN in the United States – there appears every chance he could work with them again.
It’s more than possible we get a joint PPV and both ESPN and DAZN get a piece of the pie, but if we had to bet our favorite at this stage would be the outlet from Bristol, Connecticut and it being on PPV.
What are Fury and Usyk fighting for?
The simple answer is every title that matters in boxing’s heavyweight division.
Fury is currently the WBC, and lineal champion, while Usyk is the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight king.
Who was the last undisputed heavyweight champion?
You have to go back 23 years to find the last time boxing crowned an undisputed king – how about those politics…
The last unified champion was Brit Lennox Lewis, who claimed all of the titles by outpointing Evander Holyfield in their Las Vegas rematch in November 1999.
Tyson Fury Record
Tyson Fury weighed less than one pound when he was born prematurely in the UK on August 12, 1988. In fact the future heavyweight champ was so small, doctors feared he would not survive.
Fast forward 35 years, and ‘The Gypsy King’ is now a true giant of a man. Given the name Tyson after the great Mike Tyson (his father John is a major fighting man too), Fury stands a massive 6ft 9ins tall (2.06m) with a massive reach of 85ins (2.16m). He has weighed as much as 277lbs on fight night – for that trilogy bout vs Deontay Wilder in October 2021.
Fury’s professional resume is an impressive one – 35 fights in total which give him a record of 34-0-1. He has 32 wins with 22 coming inside distance by KO and just one blemish – that draw with Wilder in their first meeting in December 2018.
Fury always appeared booked for greatness, with his unusual speed and boxing ability (for such a big man) marking him out as a freak in boxing’s heavyweight division.
He claimed a first heavyweight title in 2015 when he went into Wladimir Klitschko’s back yard in Germany and convincingly outpointed the great champion with a brilliant display of boxing which totally threw the Ukrainian.
Fury then had almost three years out of the ring as he endured mental health demons which made him consider suicide. He also ballooned to 400lbs in weight and boxing again seemed a million miles away.
Amazingly Fury not only came back, he did so in style by returning to the top of the mountain with a crushing defeat of the apparently invincible Wilder in their second fight in Las Vegas in February 2020.
Since then Fury has fought four times – a terrific trilogy win over Wilder, impressive demolition jobs on Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora, and that unimpressive points win over Ngannou.
Oleksandr Usyk Record
Oleksandr Usyk – the incredible Ukrainian master boxer – is one step away from achieving his career goal of becoming undisputed champion at both cruiserweight and heavyweight.
Usyk posted an unbelievable 335-15 amateur record which culminated in him winning Olympic boxing gold in London in 2012. He was already booked for pro stardom even before he moved into the paid ranks.
Oleksandr – born in Simferopol on January 17, 1987 and now 36 years old – has so far built a 21-0 record which includes winning all of the belts at cruiserweight (200lbs) before moving up.
Usyk claimed the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts when outpointing Anthony Joshua convincingly in London in September 2021. He retained the titles with that rematch split decision over Joshua in Saudi in August 2022. He then stopped another Brit Daniel Dubois in Poland in August 2023.
Usyk – also known for his engaging personality as well as his incredible boxing skills – is an absolute master to watch. He may not have the pure size of Fury, but he will ask ‘The Gypsy King’ some difficult boxing questions.
Take for example Round 9 of the AJ rematch, when Usyk appeared to be under attack and in massive trouble. Instead of falling to a first pro defeat he somehow regrouped, came out to win the final three rounds and the fight. Unbelievable.
Usyk, who is mirroring the achievements of the great Evander Holyfield, is somewhat undersized for a heavy these days – he was around 221lbs for the Joshua rematch. He stands 6ft 3ins (1.91m) tall and has a reach of 78ins (1.98m).