Christmas showdown as Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk rematch date confirmed | Boxing | Sport

Oleksandr Usyk will defend his world heavyweight titles against Tyson Fury after their slated re-match was given an official date of December 21, 2024. After falling to defeat in Saudi Arabia, ‘The Gypsy King’ was contractually entitled to step back into the ring with his Ukrainian counterpart.

The showdown between the warring pair on May 18 was one of the most anticipated fights of a generation, as Usyk eventually prevailed to become the first unified world champion in the weight division since Lennox Lewis. Now, the adversaries will do battle again, with a Christmas contest in the offing.

A re-match clause was previously widely reported after promoter Frank Warren confirmed that Fury would be eager to fight the man who inflicted the first defeat of his career once more. Previously, the former told Sky Sports:”I spoke to him [Fury] after the fight and obviously when he got back just to make sure he’s okay. He was very disappointed but very philosophical.”

Riyadh will be the setting of the bout once more, with the fight set to form part of the highly-anticipated Riyadh Season in the Gulf State. It would appear that only WBO, WBA and WBC belts will be on the line in Saudi Arabia, however, if Usyk is to be stripped of the IBF honours in due course.

That side narrative emerged in the aftermath of the Ukrainian’s landmark victory, with a re-match against Fury meaning that he may be forced to cede that belt. According to reports, this is due to Filip Hrgovic being the mandatory challenger, while the Croatian is due to fight Daniel Dubois on June 1. Usyk has also lodged an appeal to the IBF in hope of resolving the situation in his favour. 

His split decision win over Fury came as the judges called the contest 115-112 (Usyk), 114-113 (Fury) 114-113 (Usyk), to hand the 37-year-old his place in history among the greats of yesteryear. However, his opponent on the night was adamant that he had been unfortunate in losing the contest.

The Brit told DAZN: “I believe I won that fight. And I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority of them. I believe we both put on a good fight – best we could do. And, you know, his country is at war. People are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight in my opinion.”

Taking to Twitter/X, Saudi official Turki Alalshikh confirmed that the re-match is due at the end of the year: ‘The rematch between the Undisputed Champion Oleksandr Usyk and the Champion Tyson Fury is now scheduled on the 21 of December 2024 during Riyadh Season. The world will watch another historical fight again…Our commitment to boxing fans continues…We hope you enjoy it.”

Previously, promoter Warren spoke positively about Fury’s chances of inflicting revenge for this month’s sobering defeat in Riyadh. He said: “I think he can, he believes he can. The truth of the matter is there was a point in the fight, I think at the end of the seventh round when he caught Usyk with a couple of really good uppercuts and he was struggling a bit, but he went back to the corner and found a second wind and came out and caught Tyson with a really good shot on the nose.”

“It seemed to trouble Tyson a bit, it took his momentum away a bit, obviously we know what happened in the ninth. It was a fight of two halves, Tyson knows what he has to do and I’m sure Usyk does. Both of those guys were in an absolute war, that has taken a lot out of both of them. It will be interesting to see when it does happen who it has impacted the most.”

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