Fight Week: Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk will finally fight for undisputed championship


An undisputed heavyweight champion will finally be crowned when Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk meet on pay-per-view Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

TYSON FURY (34-0-1, 24 KOs)

Either Tyson Fury (left) or Oleksandr Usyk will be undisputed heavyweight champion on Saturday barring unforeseen circumstances.  Alex Pantling / Getty Images

  • Date: Saturday, May 18

  • Time: 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  • TV/Stream: DAZN Pay-Per-View

  • Division: Heavyweight (no limit)

  • At stake: Usyk’s IBF, WBA, WBO and Fury’s WBC titles

  • Boxing Junkie Pound-for-pound: Usyk No. 3, Fury No. 9

  • Odds: Even (average of multiple outlets)

  • Significance (up to five stars): *****

  • Also on the card: Jai Opetaia vs. Mairis Breidis, cuiserweights (for vacant IBF title); Joe Cordina vs. Anthony Cacace junior lightweights (for Cordina’s IBF title); Sergey Kovalev vs. Robin Safar, cruiserweights; Agit Kabayel vs. Frank Sanchez, heavyweights; Mark Chamberlain vs. Joshua Wahab, lightweights

  • Background: The time is finally at hand. Talk of a Fury-Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship started the moment Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua the first of two times in September 2021. The fight was originally scheduled for Feb. 17 but it was pushed back after Fury suffered a cut during sparring. Fury is coming off arguably the worst performance of his career, a split decision over Francis Ngannou in the MMA star’s boxing debut. Fury battled back from a knockdown in the third round but was fortunate to have his hand raised. He was thought by many to be ill-prepared for the fight, a mistake he will not have made leading up to the fight on Saturday. The 35-year-old from England seems to be in excellent physical condition. Usyk also didn’t give his best effort in his most recent fight, against Daniel Dubois in August. The 37-year-old former 200-pound champion went down from a body shot that was controversially deemed a low blow in the fifth round, which gave him extra time to recover. He rebounded to stop Dubois in the ninth to retain his titles.

  • Prediction: Fury UD



  • Date: Saturday, May 18

  • Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Pechanga Arena, San Diego

  • TV/Stream: ESPN+

  • Division: Lightweight (135 pounds)

  • At stake: Vacant WBO title

  • Boxing Junkie Pound-for-pound: None

  • Odds: Navarrete 5-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Significance (up to five stars): ****

  • Also on the card: Giovani Santillan vs. Brian Norman Jr., welterweights

  • Background: Navarrete is a former 122-pound titleholder who was given the opportunity to fight the vacant WBO title even though he’s making his debut at the weight and is coming off a majority draw with Robson Conceicao at 130 in November. Navarrete delivered arguably his best performance in his previous fight, a one-sided decision over former champ Oscar Valdez last August. The 29-year-old is a durable boxer whose forte is volume punching. Berinchyk, a 36-year-old Ukrainian, will be fighting for a major title for the first time. The 2012 Olympic silver medalist earned his shot at the belt by easily outpointing Anthony Yigit on the Usyk-Dubois card.

  • Prediction: Navarrete SD

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie