AS hard as it is to believe, given he fights just eight weeks prior to it, and given it has been discussed ad nauseum, apparently it’s true this time: Tyson Fury will indeed fight Oleksandr Usyk, perhaps even on December 23 in Saudi Arabia.
Confirmed this afternoon (September 29) by Queensberry Promotions, we are led to believe both heavyweights have signed for the fight and that it will take place during Riyadh Season.
It is of course during Riyadh Season Fury will also “box” mixed martial artist Francis Ngannou on October 28. That was announced a while ago, to widespread indifference, and one has to now ask, in light of today’s Usyk news, has that fight against Ngannou become even more troublesome and pointless than it appeared from the outset? After all, with so much now at stake and to look forward to, surely the only thing capable of derailing what we have at last successfully got on track is an upset of mammoth proportions on October 28.
Thankfully, anyone who has seen Ngannou hit the pads in preparation for this Fury spectacle will realise that the chances of him springing an upset are highly unlikely. However, such is the nature of the fight game, it would still not be beyond the realm of possibility for Ngannou to cut Fury at some stage in the fight, nor is it beyond the realm of possibility that Fury injures himself in pursuit of what seems like an inevitable finish.
In many ways, then, with news of Fury vs. Usyk being targeted for December (or, failing that, January), this Fury vs. Ngannou fight becomes simultaneously more pointless and more meaningful. For if it wasn’t already, it is imperative now that Fury not only wins but that he wins well – cleanly, that is. It is also imperative that he gets in and out as quickly as he can so that afterwards, following what has essentially been an 18-month break from duty as the heavyweight champion of the world, he returns to doing what he does best.