As we all know, reigning WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury had a whole lot to say at yesterday’s press conference that officially announced his fight with Oleksandr Usyk for all four belts in Saudi Arabia on February 17.
Fury said he will “smash ugly little man” Usyk and become the first fighter to ever hold four world title belts at heavyweight – WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO. Fury says he will, with a win, be most proud of keeping hold of the WBC title and the lineal title and of becoming a three-time Ring Magazine champion. The other belts, Fury says, he isn’t really bothered about.
Speaking again with IFL TV, Fury said, “I will beat Oleksandr Usyk. I’m the WBC champion and the lineal champion, and I’ll be Ring Magazine champion for a third time. The rest of it [belts], I’m not so concerned about. I’ll just vacate and let someone else have a go at them other belts, I’ll just keep my own stuff.”
So, if Fury, 34-0-(24), does beat Usyk, 21-0(14), and if he then sticks to his word, the IBF, the WBO, and the WBA heavyweight titles will become vacant. Of course, Fury and Usyk will very likely fight a second time, but we know the IBF will be hovering to strip the winner of the first fight if he doesn’t agree to make a first defense against IBF mandatory Filip Hrgovic (how could the Fury-Usyk winner accommodate Hrgovic when a rematch between the two must take place as per the rematch clause?)
There could then be a number of heavyweight contenders looking to fight for and win one or more of the three belts Fury may well leave vacant (again, if he does beat Usyk, we don’t know what Usyk will do if he wins, but the Ukrainian may try to keep hold of all the belts that he can).
The winner of the Fury-Usyk fight (or fights) will absolutely, without any doubt, be ranked and recognized by all as THE best heavyweight on the planet, but the winner doesn’t look like remaining as the undisputed, four-belt king for too long.
We will have a unified heavyweight champion next year, but perhaps only for a few weeks or so.
But now that Fury Vs. Usyk is finally official; who wins in Riyadh three months from today? A great case can be made for either currently undefeated heavyweight champion winning and reigning supreme. But will Fury-Usyk be a great fight to watch, a great spectacle? Of course, the fight is unmissable, the sheer history and the stakes making it so, but some fans do see a potential stinker with this one.
Let’s hope not. But above all, let’s just be grateful the fight is actually happening.