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Home » Tyson Fury Vs Oleksandr Usyk – LIVE: Latest Reaction As Ukrainian WINS Split Decision After Epic Battle To Become The First Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion For 24 Years

Tyson Fury Vs Oleksandr Usyk – LIVE: Latest Reaction As Ukrainian WINS Split Decision After Epic Battle To Become The First Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion For 24 Years

By Harry Bamforth and Tamara Prenn and Max Winters

Published: | Updated:

Ronaldo’s Premier League prediction

For all the boxing drama tonight – the fight wasn’t the only thing on the agenda in Saudi Arabia.

Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the many stars in attendance and he was asked for his thoughts on today’s epic Premier League final day that could see Manchester City or Arsenal crowned champions.

But what was his prediction?

How Usyk got it done

Just watch some of the shots Usyk lands on Fury during this remarkable passage of the fight.

No wonder he was declared the winner…

Sore loser, Tyson?

Fury has sensationally claimed that Usyk was only awarded the split decision victor’ ‘because his country is at war’.

Two judges scored the bout 115-113 and 114-113 in Usyk’s favour while the final judge gave it to Fury 114-113.

It was an explosive battle between the heavyweight giants with Fury seeming to take an advantage during the opening rounds, before Usyk fought back late on.

After the bout, Fury insisted he had won the fight, claiming that Usyk had only won a few rounds.

What do the stats say?

While Fury may have thrown 567 punches, Usyk threw 482, but was far more accurate with the number of strikes he landed.

Usyk would land 185 punches to Fury’s 135 while the pair would both land 95 shots each to their opponent’s head.

Usyk rushed to hospital

Usyk was rushed to hospital with Fury claiming he broke the Ukrainian’s jaw.

Despite Usyk’s win, it was the Brit who seemingly inflicted the greater damage as Usyk was forced to miss the post-fight press conference to have his injuries attended to.

Speaking after the fight, Fury said: ‘We just had a fight. Have you seen my face? It’s pretty busted up and he’s just gone to the hospital with a broken jaw and he’s busted too. We’ve punched the f*** out of each other for 12 rounds there.

‘So we’re going to go home, eat some food, drink a few beers, spend some family time, walk my dog, go to the tip and me and Frank will talk about what will happen in the future.’

Evening everybody!

Thanks Harry!

Woah – what a night it’s been in Saudi Arabia. Another person who won’t be happy with the result is Drake.

Surprise, surprise. He’s lot another massive bet.

Time for a change…

The reaction just keeps on coming, but I will not be the person to deliver it to you.

It’s time for me to pass over to Max Winters, who will guide you through the night after a wonderful fight.

Max is fantastic, you are in safe hands!

More fans’ thoughts…

Muhammad, Wolverhampton: Tyson Fury is a great showman, but that showmanship cost him the fight.

Tommy, Brighton: During round nine, if Usyk wasn’t stopped he would of put Tyson to sleep.

Arch, Wiltshire: Fight should have been stopped rather than Fury getting a count. Good fight, bad refereeing.

Manny Pacquiao lauds ‘amazing fight’

Another fighting great has taken to social media to praise Oleksandr Usyk.

Just like Lennox Lewis, and the rest of us, Manny Pacquiao wants to see a rematch. I could certainly watch all 12 of those rounds again… right now!

It truly was sensational. That’s why it’s getting this reaction.

Oleksandr Usyk DEFEATS Tyson Fury via split decision

Firstly, what an incredible fight between two heavyweight greats.

Secondly, I have the report from Riyadh for all of you to read, written by Mail Sport’s Charlotte Daly, on location.

It was a fight that swung one way, and then the other, but in the end, Oleksandr Usyk slightly edged the decision over Tyson Fury.

To read the report, click below:

Lennox Lewis congratulates Usyk

Lennox Lewis knows exactly how it feels to be an undisputed heavyweight champion.

The boxing great has offered his thoughts on the bout via X (formerly Twitter), referencing Usyk as ‘Oleksandr the Great’.

It seems he is excited for the rematch. As are all of us I presume…

THE SCORECARD: Usyk wins by split decision

Want to see the scorecard for the fight in detail?

Well, here it is. Usyk was awarded the win by two judges, with them scoring the contest 115-113 and 114-113 in his favour.

The other judge scored it 114-113 to Tyson Fury, but that wasn’t enough for the British fighter in the end.

An incredible fight.

WATCH: The moment Usyk ROCKED Fury

Screams of ‘OHHHHHH’ belted out from my office when this happened.

Oleksandr Usyk was starting to come into his own by the ninth round after early Tyson Fury dominance.

However, when he started landing these shots, Tyson Fury was stunned, and so was the stadium.

How Fury kept going after this, I have no idea. But this was the moment the tide really turned in Usyk’s favour.

Fans thoughts…

Anonymous: I have seen fights stopped for a lesser beat down than Fury took in the ninth.

Anonymous: Should have been stopped in the ninth round. Usyk has to be regarded as one of the greats of the sport.

KJ: Ref saved Fury from a TKO, if he had even got a draw, boxing was finished.

COMPUBOX STATS: Usyk beats Fury

Here are the statistics…

As you can see, Tyson Fury may have thrown more punches, but the 42% accuracy of Oleksandr Usyk got the job done for him.

At one stage, the Ukranian fighter just wasn’t missing, it was sensational to watch.

Eddie Hearn: ‘It was a fight of two halves’

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing promoter, speaking on DAZN:

What a spectacle. It was a fight of two halves. How he survived the ninth, I thought it was very fortunate the referee didn’t jump in and then what heart he showed and Usyk started to look tired.

For me, it was a draw or Usyk by a point or two maximum. It was a mismatch early on but Usyk kept coming. What a fight. This is a massive moment for the fight.

I thought the fight was over. You have to mark the brilliance of Usyk. He beat every champion at cruiserweight. He came up and beat AJ twice and now beat Fury. The best heavyweight in the world right now, fact.

There’s adjustments that can be made. Fury was never out of the fight. He was dominating. The rematch is a big, big fight now. This man is going to be difficult to beat.

Should the referee have stopped the fight in round nine?

This seems to be a debate that has arisen in the aftermath of this bout.

Tyson Fury was given a standing eight-count in round nine after Oleksandr Usyk had him in all sorts of trouble after a barrage of shots.

The fact Fury managed to stay on his feet was incredible, but he didn’t know where he was, he was wobbling all over the shop!

David Haye has come out and said it should have been stopped, but what do you all think?

I’m just still amazed he lasted until the end. Another remarkable recovery.

Tyson Fury: ‘I believe I won that fight’

Tyson Fury, speaking to DAZN:

I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority. It was one of the daftest decisions in boxing. I’ll be back. The good little man got the decision.

We’ll go back to our families and I’ll see him again in October. We’ll go back, and rest up. I believe I won the fight but I’m not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We’ll run it again in October.

Fury’s unbeaten streak comes to an end

Tyson Fury was unbeaten in 35 fights prior to tonight.

Well, that incredible run has come to an end in Riyadh. His record now has one loss next to his name.

He will want to avenge that as soon as possible.

‘Referee stole the KO’

Alexander Krassyuk, Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter, speaking to DAZN:

I am exhausted. I was cheering and backing Usyk the whole fight. No disrespect to the referee but he stole the KO. That’s my opinion. It was a tremendous performance.

WATCH: Usyk’s winning moment

If you haven’t seen it, this is the moment Oleksandr Usyk’s arm was raised as undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Just look at the emotion as his name is called, it means so much to Usyk after everything he has been through.

Tyson Fury goes straight over to kiss Usyk on the head and congratulate him, too.

Usyk achieves greatness!

Whichever way you think that fight went, Oleksandr Usyk has just achieved greatness.

The remarkable fighter is the first heavyweight fighter to hold all four belts at once. An incredible feat.

25 years on from Lennox Lewis, Usyk has just created history.

Fury wants rematch

Tyson Fury comes onto the microphone and says he believes he won the fight.

He wants the rematch in October. There is a rematch clause in the contract, so we won’t have to wait too long it seems.

Oleksandr Usyk then doubles down on Fury’s want and says he is ready.

Oleksandr Usyk: ‘For my family. For my country!’

Oleksandr Usyk cries as he is asked about his feelings by DAZN, and then screams out emotionally in his native language.

Usyk then goes on to say:

Thank you so much to my team, my god, Jesus, his excellency. For my family. For my country!



The Ukranian fighter has done it, he stays undefeated beats Tyson Fury by split decision, and raises the undisputed belt above his head!

Two judges gave the fight to Usyk with scores of 115-113 and 114-113 and the other scored it 114-113 to Fury.

After struggling so early on, what a comeback by Usyk. Sensational!

Where is Michael Buffer?

As we wait for the decision, the two fighters come together and enjoy another chat about the fight.

It doesn’t seem a decision is coming soon, Michael Buffer doesn’t even look like he is in the ring.

It’s so crowded.

Jeff Powell: Last round even… A draw

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Fury makes his last stand. His rights equal Usyk’s lefts. The last is even. If the judges agree….its a draw.



It was a bout of two halves, and we go to a decision. It could go either way, it could be a draw, but we will find out very soon.

I’m just in awe of both fighters, they both come together and have a chat. It’s nice to see them embrace.

Who will be cheering in just a few minutes time? So, tough to call.


Tyson Fury rode the first 30 seconds and has finally found his rhythm again.

Just as I type that, Usyk lands a big shot, then so does Fury. Both are trading right until the very end!


The crowd cheers as the final round gets underway.

Who can dig deep enough to get the job done, it’s such a tough fight to call.

Oleksandr Usyk has started this one the better with a couple of good jabs.

Jeff Powell: Level going into final round

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

What a fight of two halves. Fury’s power has left his punches. He hangs on again. They are now, incredibly, level on my card going into the last. 9-10.

ROUND 11: Usyk still on top

Oleksandr Usyk lands as the bell rings, and Tyson Fury just stares at him.

Fury is looking better and finally landed a shot in that round, but I must say, Usyk’s pressure is relentless.

This fight is so, so close!

Jeff Powell: 9-10 Usyk

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Fury boxing on fumes. Usyk now doing the taunting. 9-10.

ROUND 10: Fury recovers at the end

Tyson Fury is such a remarkable man.

I have no idea how he has come out of that round still fighting after being rocked in round nine.

He is starting to look more like himself again as the round comes to a close.

This is an unbelievable fight!

Fury struggling!

Tyson Fury is hanging on, right now.

I can’t believe what I am seeing, he is trapped and can’t throw a punch.

However, maybe Usyk is slowing down, can Fury show his recovery powers once more?

Jeff Powell: 8-10 to Usyk

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Astonishing effort by Usyk. Fury reels from those huge lefts slumps against the ropes and is saved by a standing eight-count, then the bell. 8-10

ROUND NINE: Fury saved by the bell!

Somehow, Tyson Fury is still going.

This is the biggest break of his life, Fury has to somehow stay in this contest!


The tide seems to be turning in Oleksandr Usyk’s favour!

OH MY WORD! all of a sudden Oleksandr Usyk bursts into life and bombards Tyson Fury on the ropes.

Fury doesn’t know where he is but somehow stays on his feet.

How is he still standing?

Jeff Powell: 9-10 to Usyk once more

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Could Usyk be getting back into this? A huge effort from him is rewarded by landing several left hooks which had Fury holding and leaning for the first time. 9-10.

ROUND EIGHT: Usyk catches Fury with a cracker

Oleksandr Usyk just showed Tyson Fury why he is still in this fight.

A rapid combination which ends with a huge overhand left causes Tyson Fury to shake his head.

Usyk looks so much better now, he lands another big shot and Fury has blood pouring from his nose.

No showboating anymore as the eighth comes to an end.

Jeff Powell: Usyk wins his first round

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Half way and Usyk yet to win a round. He needed one now not to be beyond recovery on points and stole this one with powerful finish after catching Fury play-acting. 9-10.

ROUND SEVEN: Fury looking comfortable

Tyson Fury and uppercuts are a match made in heaven.

he just isn’t missing them, he lands another couple. Oleksandr Usyk looks slow and Fury is looking very comfortable in there.

As I say that, Usyk lands a big left hand and the crowd cheers. It’s not over yet.

He also has a cut above his right eye, does Usyk…

Jeff Powell: ‘Phenomenal performance by the Gypsy King’… another 10-9 to Fury

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

The crowd were willing Usyk to get into the fight but he was being overwhelmed. This was becoming a phenomenal performance by the Gypsy King, He was picking his man off at will and taunting him into the bargain. 10-9

ROUND SIX: Fury hurts Usyk TWICE

Wow, Tyson Fury lands a big right hand, and then a huge uppercut.

Oleksandr Usyk felt both of those, he is really struggling, you rarely see the Ukranian like this. He doesn’t know what just hit him.

He does recover just before the bell, but that is an excellent round for Fury, he just isn’t missing those uppercuts.

More showboating too…

Jeff Powell: Another 10-9 to Fury

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Fury checked out Usyk’s alleged weakness in the body and was warned for one low blow as Usyk complained. But the Ukrainian’s biggest problem was a cut by the right eye, which may have been caused by a clash of heads in the preceding round. 10-9.

ROUND FIVE: Fury going for the body

Oleksandr Usyk makes his first complaint about the body shots being too low.

I’m not so sure, but what is certain is that Tyson Fury is getting joy with shots to Usyk’s body.

Fury is in his rhythm and Usyk is struggling to get to him now. A good round for the Brit, he is upping it!

Jeff Powell: Fury ‘outboxing the master technician’

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Such was Fury’s command that he was outboxing the master technician. 10-9.

ROUND FOUR: Fury gaining confidence

Tyson Fury switches to southpaw and lands a lovely one-two, and then again.

He then taunts Oleksandr Usyk, Fury is certainly looking better in round four. He seems a lot more confident.

However, he just can’t seem to keep Usyk at bay when he is backed into the corner.

Jeff Powell: Fury’s ‘jab sharp’

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Fury was restored to the days of his prime. Jab sharp. Movement fluid. Too big to catch with anything hurtful 10-9.

ROUND THREE: Usyk pushing Fury back

Oleksandr Usyk is pushing Tyson Fury into the corners and lands a great left hand.

Fury keeps putting his glove to his nose, does he have a problem with it? It certainly seems like he does.

Usyk seems to be landing the better shots and is capitalising on a few Fury mistakes.

Jeff Powell: ‘Fury takes the second’

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Usyk opened up the second with a crisp one-two. Fury went back to the jab and took the second despite being tagged just before the bell. 10-9.

ROUND TWO: Fury starting to land

Wow, Oleksandr Usyk starts the round with a big shot that sends Tyson Fury back.

Fury is definitely throwing more shots, but it seems like everytime Usyk throws he lands.

In the final minute of the round Fury unloads an uppercut and one-two combination, but Usyk replies with a strong left hand.

Fury smiles as the bell comes after landing a brilliant uppercut to the body.

ROUND ONE: Fury showboating early…

Some early showboating from Tyson Fury as he is in the corner.

Oleksandr Usyk is aiming for the body 9in round one and just as the round comes to an end Usyk lands an overhand!

A cagey first round…

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

Fury took charge of the early exchanges with his telescopic left jab. He even show-boated in a corner after evading one Usyk advance and danced clear after being clipped 10-9.

‘Let battle commence’

Jeff Powell, Mail Sport, in Riyadh:

A stupendous sound, light and fire show as well as a dramatic rock performance supercharged the hall.

Uasyk marched in stern and strong in an historic military commmander’s uniform. Fury came dressed ready for work but expending energy on a hyper shadow boxing and prancing exhibition.

Both these religious men crossed themselves several times. Let battle commence.

There goes the bell for round one!

The two fighters touch gloves, and for the first time in nearly 25 years, the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world is on the line.

The bell rings and we are underway/

Who will end up on top?

Let’s get ready to rumbleeeeeee!

Michael Buffer just has such an iconic voice, doesn’t he?

He utters those famous words ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’, and the stadium cheers. Yes, they are his favourite words, not Ant and Dec’s!

The stadium falls silent as he introduces the two fighters, and boy, oh boy, does he do it in style. As he always does.

Now, we are indeed ‘ready to rumble’.

Time for the national anthems

Here are the national anthems.

The Ukrainian anthem comes first as Oleksandr Usyk stands there incredibly proud of his country.

Moments later, ‘God Save the King’ blasts out of the speakers and you can hear a few Brits singing it faintly in the background.

Gypsy King arrives at the ring in style…

Tyson Fury is a man who does not look like he is feeling the pressure.

He is dancing as he approaches the ring, and looks like he is having a whale of a time.

I must tell you, his choice of moving from Barry White to Bonnie Taylor has got even me pumped up, let alone Fury himself.

It’s a change of tune from Oleksandr Usyk’s walk, it takes him an age to make the full walk, but he puts on a little sprint at the end!

The fight is just moments away…

Mail Sport’s Jeff Powell sets the scene…

Fight day dawned on an embarrassment. Usyk’s official weight was revised downwards by ten pounds. The predictors and the oddsmakers went into a tizzy. So he wouldn’t be slowed down, then? But would he be even easier for Fury to push around? Was it all mind games? A conspiracy even?

Behave. In all probability it was a mistake. Fabled ring announcer Michael ‘Rumble’ Buffer ‘ is the other side of 80 now. Could he have heard 223lbs as as 233? Every chance.

If Tyson was fazed by it he’s not the Fury we know. And some of us love. Anyway, as he told us at the weigh-in, it’s Usyk’s heart he would be going after. Not his muscle. Not that the royal Saudi rulers would have been too happy. Riyadh, as the new capital of heavyweight boxing. Is still learning the ropes. The good people here are still being introduced to the delights of boxing.

This fight would have sold out Wembley Stadium twice over. Tickets for the Kingdom Arena were of the 20 dollars order. To even get close to filling it must have required a few invitations it would have been insulting to refuse. But for a couple of thousand of Fury’s fellow travellers the atmosphere might have been all curiosity. Then again, but for the Saudi wealth it is quite possible none of us would have been watching this fight. Ballpark purses of £100 million for Fury.£35 million for Usyk were too good to turn down.

Unperturbed, the unbeaten twosome got ready. The first sighting of Usyk on the giant screen showed he had left the air-conditioned arena to warm up in the evening heat of a courtyard.He came in to joined the chilled celebrities. They included heavyweight royalty Lewis, Holyfield, Larry Holmes, David Haye and Anthony Joshua. Oh and by the way Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns less in a year playing football here than Fury is banking for this one night’s work.

Here comes Usyk…

Finally, the big fight is here!

After the snazzy musical interlude, Oleksandr Usyk is introduced by Michael Buffer and makes his way to the ring.

He looks like he means business, its the biggest night of his boxing life!

Lightshow on display

I’m not sure about all of you, but I am thoroughly enjoying this little performance.

It also gives both Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk that extra bit of time to prepare for the biggest fight of their lives.

And, they get to enjoy a bit of music to calm them down…

Well, they probably aren’t focused on that in reality.

JID performs above the ring!

They really are putting on a show in Riyadh!

American rapper JID is suspended above the ring and performing under the lights, he looks like he is enjoying himself.

If I were him, I’d be nervous as he is rather high… but it really is some spectacle, and he doesn’t look fazed by it.

Main Event is almost here…

The Kingdom Arena falls silent to hear Michael Buffer begin the start of this main event.

He kicks it off by thanking Suadi Arabia, which is followed by the national anthem.

The moment we have been waiting for is nearly upon us!

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk – ULTIMATE TIPSTERS’ GUIDE

Who do some of the boxing greats think will win?

Well, you can find out right here. Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, David Haye, and more have all let Mail Sport know who they are tipping to come out on top.

Click below to find out who they are backing.

Fury vs Usyk – Tale of the Tape

Tyson Fury

Age: 35

Stance: Orthodox

Height: 6ft 9in

Reach: 85in

Record: 34-0-1

Oleksandr Usyk

Age: 36

Stance: Southpaw

Height: 6ft 3in

Reach: 78in

Record: 21-0-0

Secrets of the diet that got ‘fat pig’ Tyson Fury from 27 stone to 19

When Tyson Fury walks out tonight, he will be looking as lean as he ever has.

Fury’s transformation has been sensational, he looks in the best shape the fight world has seen him in recent times.

Want to know how he did it? Mail Sport has you covered!

To read how he lost so much weight, click below:

Now for the BIG one…

Now that fight is over, you know what’s coming next…

Arguably the biggest match in modern history is nearly here, and my excitement is at an all-time high, is yours?

I just wish I could fast-forward to the fight now.

Jai Opetaia: My nose is ‘broken’

Jai Opetaia, IBF Cruiserweight champion, on TNT Sports Box Office:

He (Mairis Briedis) headbutted my nose, it’s broken. He is a tough dude, he wanted it, I could hear the pain in his voice as he landed punches.

I knew he was going to come home strong, but I won the fight and that’s all that matters. I want the WBO (title), I want the winner of Okolie and Billam-Smith.

I’m not that happy with my performance, I know I can do a lot better. We go back to the drawing board, we learn, and we progress.


Jai Opetaia has done it once again!

The judges scored it 117-11, 116-112, and 116-112 to Opetaia as the Australian reclaims the IBF Cruiserweight title again.

I thought it would be tighter than that, but Opetaia did look the better fighter over the course of the fight.

ROUND 12: We go to a decision…

What an end to the fight, I can’t believe this late fightback from Mairis Briedis.

He chases Jai Opetaia as the Australian retreats.

There goes the bell, Briedis raises his arm before the two fighters embrace.

I’m not sure who has won that fight, it was some battle, they are both covered in blood!

I’m going Opetaia… narrowly!

Briedis ROCKS Opetaia

Wow, they are both going for it, trading shots toe-to-toe!

Mairis Briedis knows he has to land something big here and he is drawing Jai Opetaia in before unloading that right hand.

Woah! He lands a monster stiff right that rocks Opetaia, and the Australian is now clinging on…

ROUND 11: Briedis landing heavy shots

Where was this before, Mairis Briedis?

He is unloading on Jai Opetaia, he has found a second wind from somewhere. he pushes him onto the ropes and starts dropping some bombs.

Is it too little too late though? He is certainly behind on the scorecards.

Opetaia will be glad to hear that bell as it rings!

ROUND 10: Both land big!

Wow, what a round!

First Jai Opetaia lands a huge left hand on Mairis Briedis, but all of a sudden the Latvian comes back with a big one of his own.

He rocks the Australian fighter just as the bell comes, that should give Briedis some confidence.

Ryan Garcia meets Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo may be sat next to one boxing star, Anthony Joshua, well, he has now met another.

Ryan Garcia makes himself known to the football superstar just a month after his controversial win over Devin Haney.

ROUND NINE: Opetaia edging it

After a barrage of big shots in round seven, the pace has certainly slowed down.

Jai Opetaia is throwing less, but landing more. However, Mairis Briedis is wrestling some control of the fight when he gets into the centre of the ring.

Another low-punch round, but I think Opetaia edges it due to punches landed.

ROUND EIGHT: Opetaia’s eye starting to swell

Mairis Briedis lands a low blow on Jai Opetaia… that’s got to hurt.

As the camera shows the Australian fighter, it seems he has some swelling around his eye.

He may be in the lead, but that round was much more even. Remember, Briedis finishes the final rounds strong usually.

Usyk getting prepped and ready

Oleksandr Usyk looks dead-pan in the face as his hands are wrapped.

I’d love to know what is going through his head right now as the fight edges closer, he looks like he is deep in thought.

I doubt he is wondering what is for dinner, that is for sure.

ROUND SEVEN: Opetaia has the momentum

The shots are starting to fly now, from both Jai Opetaia and Mairis Briedis!

I must say, Briedis is a warrior, he is eating so many hits, but he keeps standing strong before launching a counter.

Opetaia is still forcing the issue, but the veteran is letting him have it his own way here.

A cracking fight as round seven comes to an end.

ROUND SIX: Briedis bleeding from nose

I take my last comments back, Jai Opetaia has certainly regained control.

The Australian fighter wobbles Mairis Briedis, and he looks startled, but once again stays strong.

They are starting to trade now, Briedis unleashes a brilliant right hand after being backed in the corner.

But, Opetaia comes back again and lands a cracking straight left and blood pours from Briedis’s nose, he is covered.

Opetaia has the momentum now after round six!

ROUND FIVE: Getting tighter

The pace has slowed down in this one, not that it was scintillating before.

Round five is a hard one to call, no big punches, both fighters trying to make it happen, but not succeeding.

I’d say Jai Opetaia, is just shading it overall.

ROUND FOUR: Opetaia still in control after early Briedis response

Mairis Briedis is looking way more comfortable than he did in the first three rounds.

He is starting to close the gap to Jai Opetaia, he isn’t just letting the Australian walk him down.

Wait, as I say that, Opetaia lands a great left hand that startles Briedis, so he retreats.

Just as I thought the Latvian fighter was coming back, Opetaia lands a big one. The bell goes and it’s surely another round to Opetaia.

ROUND THREE: Opetaia on top… slightly

Wow, that was an incredibly fast shot from Jai Opetaia!

I knew he was quick, but he unleashes a brilliant left hand that hits Mairis Briedis square on the chin.

Briedis, though, shakes it off and keeps trying to trade. He ends the round slightly better, he is settling.

ROUND TWO: Opetaia ROCKS Briedis

I think the answer is yes…

Within the first 45 seconds of the second round, Jai Opetaia unleashes a brilliant left hand which catches Mairis Briedis.

Briedis tries to counter but just moments later Opetaia rocks the Latvian fighter but somehow stays alive.

The Australian is on top, he is starting to notch through the gears.

ROUND ONE: Even start

I said there would be fireworks, but they haven’t been lit yet.

Both fighters seem to be finding their feet in this one, but once they do, the big hits will start flying.

Let’s see if the second round is any different.

Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis rematch begins…

There goes the bell!

This is a huge fight, it’s perhaps the last chance for Mairis Briedis to reclaim his title from Jai Opetaia.

What an appetiser this is for the big fight later.

Here comes Jai Opetaia

I thought I’d seen a motivated face in Mairis Briedis, but Jai Opetaia is maybe even more steely-eyed as he walks to the ring.

He shocked the world when he defeated Briedis in July 2022. he is an explosive fighter, so expect some fireworks tonight.

Mairis Briedis makes his way to the ring…

Here comes the challenger!

Mairis Briedis is a man on a mission, and you can see it in his eyes.

The 39-year-old has had his critics recently, but can he prove them wrong and become the IBF cruiserweight champion once again?

He lost the title to Jai Opetaia, but now he has the chance to win it back.

Lennox Lewis: ‘I think Tyson Fury should win on points’

Lennox Lewis, former undisputed heavyweight champion, on TNT Sports Box Office:

In the first round, they will feel each other out, in the second round, they will feel each other out. The fight won’t really get started until the fourth round because these guys have two completely different styles.

Only Fury can defeat himself because he has all the attributes, he needs to bring all of them to the fight. Both will try to hold their own ground, it’s a chess match.

Usyk is a smart boxer. One is a singer and one is a dancer. He is a thinking boxer. I think it will be a close fight, I think Tyson Fury should win on points. It’s going to be an unbelievable fight.

Fury gets his hands wrapped

Is anybody else getting as excited as I am right now?

Tyson Fury has had his hands wrapped which means just one thing, the big fight is nearly upon us.

We have just one more fight before Fury and Oleksandr Usyk head to the ring. It’s getting closer, and closer.

POLL: Fight of the century?

I want to bring this poll back to the fore…

So far, we have had 57 votes, and just under 65% believe that tonight’s fight is NOT the biggest of the century.

Anybody that has not had their chance to vote, make sure you do.

And if you don’t believe it’s the biggest fight of the century, what is?

Anthony Cacace: ‘I am in shock’

Anthony Cacace, IBF Super Featherweight champion, speaking to DAZN:

I am in shock. Nobody gave me a chance to do this here. Joe is a hell of a competitor, but tonight I was hurting him with every single fight.

From now on, I want to be fighting in Saudi Arabia for every single fight, no more fighting in the UK.

The referee said ‘break’ as I threw the punch (in round three). There was nothing dirty done in there, it’s boxing.

Cacace drops to his knees in celebration!

Anthony Cacace drops to his knees as his name is called out as champion.

It was a really superb performance, the pressure he sustained throughout the fight was unrelenting.

The Belfast fighter was at his very best tonight.


Anthony Cacace is IBF Super Featherweight champion at just 25 years old!

The referee has seen enough and he stops the fight, as Cacace continues to unload on Joe Cordina with nothing coming back.

Cacace is elated, he sprints straight over to celebrate with Frank Warren. What a moment!

Cacace all over Cordina

How Joe Cordina is still standing as the bell goes for the end of round seven is sensational.

Anthony Cacace is putting constant pressure on the Welsh fighter and landing some massive shots.

But somehow, Cordina keeps bouncing back. Credit where credit is due.

Wladimir Klitschko: ‘Usyk one of the most talented fighters in modern history’

Wladimir Klitschko, former heavyweight champion of the world, speaking on TNT Sports Box Office:

Tyson Fury has an advantage of size and reach. Oleksandr Usyk is one of the most talented fighters in modern history.

Wladimir Klitschko arrives!

They just keep on coming, the boxing stars

Wladimir Klitschko knows a thing or two about both Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, doesn’t he?

He was defeated by Fury in 2015, ending his 10-year reign as heavyweight champion of the world.

Now he gets to watch the Gypsy King from the sidelines after a special career at the top.


Wow, Anthony Cacace is all over Joe Cordina and he drops the Welsh boxer!

It’s slightly controversial, though, as before the knockdown Cacace caught Cordina after the referee had called for them to stop throwing punches.

No points were deducted, and then Cacace started to batter Cordina before putting him down.

The bell saves the Welsh fighter, though!

Steven Gerrard pays Tyson Fury a visit

Two sporting greats in one room.

Steven Gerrard has personally wished Tyson Fury luck as the big fight edges closer, and closer.

A nice moment between the Liverpool legend, and Manchester United fan.

Amir Khan backing Fury

Amir Khan has arrived and is clear on who he is backing.

After being asked by TNT Sports who he thinks will win, he responds: ‘Tyson (Fury) all the way’.

Will he be proved right?

Joe Cordina vs. Anthony Cacace underway

We have another title fight on our hands…

Joe Cordina and Anthony Cacace are in the ring and are now trading punches inorder to get hold of the IBF super featherweight title.

This fight has been in waiting for a long time, and it is finally here!

Boxing legends everywhere you look

The amount of boxing superstars in the building is high.

As well as Anthony Joshua, Derek Chisora, and David Haye are also here for the big night.

The number of stars that are in Riyadh, just shows how massive an undisputed fight like tonight is for the sport.

Absolutely no one wants to miss out.

Kabayel’s moment of joy

This moment is just filled with pure happiness.

So many people doubted Abit Kabyel, but he has just proved why he is ranked so highly in the heavyweight division.

He will remember this moment for the rest of his life.

Eddie Hearn praises Abit Kabayel

Agit Kabayel’s celebrations told the whole story after that win.

You could just tell how much it meant to him as he jumped in the air, and Eddie Hearn is ‘happy for him’.

It was fully deserved, as Mr. Hearn says below.

AJ and CR7 share a laugh

I wonder what Anthony Joshua and Cristiano Ronaldo are giggling about?

My bet would be on just how successful they have been in their professions. Between them, just think of all that silverware.

Maybe Joshua is trying to convince Ronaldo to come to Watford… I’m sure that would bring a laugh from the footballing great.


Simply incredible from Abit Kabayel!

Kabayel keeps attacking the body and gets his reward, it is one shot too many to the ribs of Frank Sanchez.

After being downed once, the Cuban fighter does get up, but Kabayel’s relentless attack on his ribs continues and he drops down again.

The referee counts him out, and against the odds, Kabayel gets the job done.

He is now set for a match-up with a huge heavyweight name, a sensational achievement.

He can’t contain himself in the celebrations, and nor should he!

ROUND SIX: Kabayel breaking Sanchez

This is brilliant boxing from Abit Kabayel.

The German fighter is landing punches with ease, and Frank Sanchez is feeling every single one of them.

He knocks the Cuban fighter back with a great right hand which leaves Sanchez gasping for air.

The bell comes at the right time for Sanchez!

The Gypsy King is here…

And here he is, Tyson Fury arrives in Riyadh in style, just look at that suit!

I’m not sure Fury knows what nerves are, he looks so relaxed. In just over two hours he will be making his way to that ring.

It doesn’t exactly look like he is fearful of the task ahead.

ROUND FIVE: Kabayel dominant

This pressure is relentless from Abit Kabayel.

He continues to lay it on Frank Sanchez, and it’s like the Cuban fighter is stuck in the mud at times, but he is surviving.

Kabayel nearly lands a huge shot right before the bell, but he doesn’t connect.

Cristiano Ronaldo is in the building!

Footballing royalty has arrived…

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest footballers of all time, has arrived in Riyadh to a bombardment of media, unsurprisingly.

He takes his seat next to Anthony Joshua, and now all the stars are nearly here for a huge night.

ROUND FOUR: Kabayel lands great overhand

The work on the body continues from Agit Kabayel!

He goes down low and then releases a brilliant overhand that certainly shocks Frank Sanchez. It was a beautiful switch-up of attack.

Sanchez is really struggling to get any joy.

Crolla praises Kabayel

Former WBA lightweight champion, Anthony Crolla, is full of praise for Agit Kabayel, and he is certainly right.

The German fighter is just unloading body shots for fun, and they are doing some damage too. He is on top.

ROUND THREE: Kabayel keeping up the pressure

Agit Kabayel is taking it up a notch round by round, he is upping the pace of this bout, and Frank Sanchez can’t deal with it.

The Cuban fighter starts to move his feet to get away from Kabayel, but the German fighter is hunting him down.

Sanchez does unload big right hand, but it doesn’t land, and the Kabayel traps him in the corner and lands a great one-two combination.

This is very one-sided.

ROUND TWO: Kabayel on top

Agit Kabayel is starting to unload on Frank Sanchez now.

Sanchez just can’t get away and is eating every single strike, this is a fantastic display from Kabayel.

The Cuban fighter even puffs out his cheeks, he is feeling those body shots…

Usyk arrives at the Kingdom Arena

The coolest man in Riyadh, Okesandr Usyk, has arrived for tonight’s historic fight.

With a toy Eeyore under his arm, he is not looking fazed in the slightest, despite this being the biggest fight of his life.

The excitement just keeps building, we are not too far away now!

ROUND ONE: Tight contest early on

The power on display is sensational, right now.

Agit Kabayel is applying the early pressure, coming forward to meet Frank Sanchez, but is doing no damage as of yet.

Frank Sanchez has arguably been the more accurate, though.

Frank Sanchez vs Agit Kabayel gets going

Frank Sanchez and Agit Kabayel touch gloves, and the bell rings.

Both are undefeated, both love a knockout, and both want to make that next step towards a heavyweight title.

This is going to be a cracker.

Here is Anthony Joshua!

It must be a strange feeling for Anthony Joshua.

The former heavyweight champion is used to this walk, but as a fighter, tonight he is here to just enjoy the night.

Well, I say that, but he will definitely analysing every punch that Tyson Fury makes tonight…

WBC heavyweight championship eliminator coming up

Oh, this is going to be a belter, isn’t it?

Frank Sanchez and Agit Kabayel both make their way to the ring for what is set to be a big battle of the heavyweights.

Both love a knockout, so expect a slugfest/ I’d be surprised if this bout went the distance.

You never know, though.

Usyk loves to beat a Brit

Tyson Fury is not the first British fighter Oleksandr Usyk has fought, that’s for sure!

The Ukranian undefeated fighter was once an undisputed cruiserweight champion, and guess who he beat to get that title? Tony Bellew.

Usyk also beat Anthony Joshua twice, and Derek Chisora also gave it a go but lost.

However, Fury is not any of those fighters, he is unbeaten himself and certainly will provide a different challenge to Usky. He wants to be the first British fighter to get the job done against the Ukranian.

It’s going to be an incredible fight!

More fan predictions for Fury vs Usyk…

Anonymous: No doubt it’s undisputed but it’s such a mismatch I fear for Usyk! Fury is going to swat Usyk like a fly.

Anonymous: Usyk is going to come out strong to get lots of body shots into Fury. If Fury can ride this out and catch Usyk with a power shot to the head.. Usyk is going down.

Nathan, Manchester: Fury wins easy.

Michale Buffer arrives in Riyadh

As soon as I saw this video, I just thought about Michael Buffer’s iconic voice.

The ring announcer is ready for duty as he makes is way into the arena. When he picks up that microphone later, the world will be listening.

I for one cannot wait!

Moses Itauma: ‘Anyone can get it’

Moses Itauma, WBO Intercontinental heavyweight champion, speaking to TNT Sports Box Office:

I’m ready, (this is the) first (title)of many. I just go in there and do my job, I am grateful to be here. I was on point today, wasn’t I? Everything is important.

Anyone can get it. Everybody that I call out doesn’t want to fight. Now that I have this title with me, I am happy with anyone.

Moses Itauma STOPS Ilja Mezencev in SECOND ROUND!

This man is so, so special!

It takes Moses Itauma no time at all to land a sensational right hand on Ilja Mezencev and the German fighter’s legs buckle below him.

He does manage to get up, but the referee waves it off, a great decision.

That’s the seventh stoppage in nine fights for the young Brit, and he is now the WBO Intercontinental heavyweight champion.

Never in doubt!

ROUND ONE: Itauma fast out the blocks

Moses Itauma loves a first-round stoppage, and his first shot lands brilliantly on Ilja Mezencev.

The 19-year-old is so quick and accurate, you can see why people are regarding him as the future of British boxing.

Itauma is just walking down the German fighter with ease, and Mezencev doesn’t seem to have any response.

Oh my word, he nearly gets the knockout right as the bell comes with a barrage of punches as he capitalists on a Mezencev mistake.

The German fighter is a lucky man.

Here comes Moses Itauma!

Moses Itauma seems like he has good music taste!

He walks to the ring with ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ by The Animals blaring out from the speakers. I couldn’t help myself, I had to have a little jig as it came on.

The undefeated Briton is certainly looking more confident than his opponent, and I’m not surprised, he is a real prospect.

I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do tonight.

Ilja Mezencev makes his way to the ring

Ilja Mezencev does not look confident as he strolls to the ring…

He has a huge task in front of him tonight, the experienced German fighter. He faces off with the undefeated British boxing prospect, Moses Itauma.

It looks like he is not looking forward to facing him, that’s for sure.

DEBATE: Fight of the century?

The debate is rambling on, but after a few more votes, the poll is more even now.

One reader has decided to name a fight they think was bigger than Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk, and it’s certainly a huge one.

What did they say you ask? Mayweather Vs Pacquiao…

I remember sitting down and watching both Mayweather and Pacquiao trading punches in 2015, and thinking WOW!

Mayweather came out on top to keep his undefeated record, it was one hell of a fight.

Let us know of any others!

Mark Chamberlain: ‘This is changing my life’

Mark Chamberlain, WBC silver lightweight champion, speaking to TNT Sports Box Office:

I thought I was in for a hard night, but look what I have just done in the first round. Thank you to his excellency (Turki Alalshikh) and Frank Warren, this is changing my life.

He was out on his feet, I then thought I had to be a bit wary, but the second blew him away. I hope to be back in Riyadh to keep pushing on and pleasing. I want to keep winning.

Chamberlain KO’s Wahab in ROUND ONE!

OH MY WORD, what a shot by Mark Chamberlain!

We knew Chamberlain was good, but he has just displayed how big of a prospect he really is.

He knocks down Joshua Wahab once with a great backhand, and then after Wahab gets up, Chamberlain strolls over and hits him square in the jaw to end the fight.

He didn’t even break a sweat and is the new WBC silver lightweight champion!

Mark Chamberlain vs Joshua Wahab underway!

Mark Chamberlain is back in Riyadh, and his bout against Joshua Wahab has started.

If Chamberlain fights anything like he did back in March when he stopped Gavin Gwynne, its going to be a special fight.

Chamberlain is undefeated, can it stay that way?

Fans arriving for tonight’s crunch match!

The atmosphere is starting to build in Riyadh!

Some very excited people are around the stadium right now, and I’m not surprised. It is set to be one of the biggest nights in boxing history.

If this is how excited they are now, I wonder what they will be like in a few hours…

Steven Gerrard is in the building!

Steven Gerrard knows a thing or two about huge sporting events.

The Liverpool legend has arrived in Riyadh for tonight’s grudge match between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.

He hasn’t had to travel far, he managed Al-Ettifiq in Saudi Arabia. I wonder what mood he will be in, his side drew yesterday.

WATCH: Evander Holyfield gives his thoughts

This man certainly knows what an undisputed Heavyweight title fight feels like…

Evander Holyfield fought in two of them against Lennox Lewis, and although he may have came up short 25 years ago, he will know how Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are feeling.

He doesn’t want to back either fighter, but believes that to show you are the best ‘it should always come to an undisputed fight’.

Safar beats Kovalev by unanimous decision!

Robin Safar has his hands raised by the referee and he remains undefeated.

It was a comfortable win, in the end, one judge scored the contest 99-90 in his favour. Pure domination.

While it could be the fight that raises Safar’s profile, you fear it may be the end of the road for Sergey Kovalev.

The 41-year-old looks absolutely gutted, he wanted to come back all guns blazing, but it wasn’t to be.


Right at the end, what a shot!

Robin Safar celebrates as he knocks down Kovalev right before the final bell!

The Russian fighter is saved by the bell, but he looks a beaten man, and Safar celebrates like he knows he has won.

What a shot it is by Safar, left hook and right hand to put Kovalev down. Incredible.

ROUND NINE: Safar lets his hands go!

As he has done in nearly every round to this point, Robin Safar continues to walk down Sergey Kovalev.

And here he goes, Safar is starting to let his punches go as he pushes Kovalev up against the ropes and the former champion looks in real trouble.

Safar senses blood here, can he get a stoppage in the final round?

ROUND EIGHT: Constant pressure from Safar

Robin Safar’s pressure is relentless, he is not allowing Sergey Kovalev to breathe.

Every shot he throws seems to land, and even when he does get hit, he hits back harder.

Kovalev lands a good right hand over the top, but it doesn’t phase Safar, he just eats it and counterpunches.

If Kovalev wants to win this fight, he needs to conjure up something very quickly.

ROUND SEVEN: Kovalev starting to tire

Sergey Kovalev lands some good shots on the inside, but they don’t seem to bother Robin Safar at all.

That’s the difference, Safar’s shots are heavy hitters that catch the eye, while Kovalev’s work is not quite as damaging.

Just as I type that, Safar lands another big shot over the top. That seems to be his staple.

The 41-year-old Kovalev’s age may be showing here, as the round ends, he is looking pretty tired.

ROUND SIX: Safar landing wild shots

The big shots aren’t landing from Robin Safar as often now, but he is still hunting Sergey Kovalev down.

Kovalev lands a good uppercut on the inside, but Safar comes right back at him.

The Swede has to replace his gumshield, and when he does, he starts to throw some wild shots at Kovalev. They do land.

ROUND FIVE: Kovalev’s left eye starting to swell

Robin Safar is certainly on the front foot, he is coming forward and trying to land some eye-catching shots on Sergey Kovalev.

Kovalev’s left eye is starting to swell, that could start to become a problem for the Russian fighter.

ROUND FOUR: Safar taking control

Some more lovely work from Robin Safar there, he lands a right hook and then a nice little body shot on Sergey Kovalev.

Oh boy, he is really growing in confidence now, both he and Kovalev land at the same time but the Swede’s hit is definitely the heavier one.

This round is easily Safar’s he is landing with regularity now!

ROUND THREE: Safar lands big shot as Kovalev comes back

Has Sergey Kovalev shaken off the ring rust? I think he might have…

The former champion fires off a lovely combination, he is starting to find his rhythm and is getting some joy with his jabs.

Ohhhh, Robin Safar fires a brilliant shot over the top and Kovalev takes it well.

Just as Kovalev was getting on top as well…

ROUND TWO: Safar slightly on top

That’s a great right hand by Robin Sirwan Safar over the top, I felt that!

Both fighters are starting to find some joy, they are exchanging punches and are looking more comfortable.

I’d say Safar is slightly on top here.

ROUND ONE: Cagey start

Both fighters have yet to find their range and distance as of yet.

Robin Sirwan Safar is comfortable sitting back before going for the body, he lands a strong body shot but Sergey Kovalev takes it well.

I must say, Safar seems very comfortable.

Robin Sirwan Safar vs Sergey Kovalev begins…

Right then, the introductions have been done, and now we are ready to get this one underway.

This is a huge cruiserweight clash. An undefeated rising star against a veteran of the game who knows what it takes to be a champion.

Which way will this one go?

Sergey Kovalev RETURNS!

What is it that Eminem says… ‘Guess who’s back?’

Three-time world champion Sergey Kovalev is on his way to the ring, it’s been a while since we have seen his face. Nearly two years to be precise.

The 41-year-old is looking focused, with his hood up and eyes glaring.

Robin Sirwan Safar on his way to the ring…

We have a big one coming for you next!

16-0 cruiserweight fighter Robin Sirwan Safar is making his way to the ring to take on former light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.

It seems like he is confident, he has a little spring in his step!

WATCH: Lil Wayne’s message to Tyson Fury

WARNING: Strong language

It’s fair to say that famous rapper Lil Wayne is not mincing his words about who he wants to win…

He does use some fruity language in this, so beware. But watch, it’s clear to see that he is in Tyson Fury’s corner!

Frank Warren: ‘Whoever wins will be greatest of this generation’

Frank Warren, founder of Queensberry Promotions, speaking to TNT Sports Box Office:

Oleksandr Usyk is not fazed by it, Tyson (Fury) is not fazed by it. They are both fit as butchers dogs.

Everybody is going to be tuning in for this. Whoever wins this will be the greatest of this generation.

David Nyika TKO’s Michael Seitz

David Nyika, take a bow!

The New Zealand boxer stops Michael Seitz late in round four to take home the IBF International Cruiserweight Championship title and extended his unbeaten record to nine wins.

After a slow start, Nyika started to find his rhythm in round two, and he slowly picked away at Seitz before the latter ran out of gas.

A good performance by Nyika, he could have done more damage of the fight was to go on any longer.

Great stoppage by the referee.

POLL: Fight of the century?

Right, I have already asked the question in this blog, and now there is a poll for you to provide your thoughts.

So far there is an overriding feeling that tonight is not the biggest fight of the century, however, we have only had three votes so far…

Calm before the storm…

You can hear the punches being landed clearly due to the fact there is no atmosphere as of yet in Riyadh.

That will certainly change as the night goes on, the punters will start to roll in fight-by-fight.

This place will be rocking later!

Main Card is underway!

The excitement for tonight’s huge fight has just gone up a notch.

The main card is now underway with David Nyika and Michael Seitz getting things started with a cruiserweight bout.

The bell has now been rung for the 10-round bout for the IBF International Cruiserweight Championship fight.

One undefeated record could go in this one, but which will it be?

Fabio Wardley: ‘ It is going to be unforgettable’

Fabio Wardley, current British, Commonwealth and WBO European heavyweight champion, on TNT Sports Box Office:

It’s not just about the fight, it’s about what it means for boxing. It feels like we have been waiting (25 years) for this to come.

The arena, the light, the camera. Everything is doing it justice. It is going to be unforgettable.

David Haye: Fury ‘is back now’

David Haye, former WBA heavyweight champion, speaking about the staredown at the weigh-in, on TNT Sports Box Office:

The worries I had for him (Tyson Fury) not wanting into Usyk’s eyes (in the press conference are gone), but he is back now.

WATCH: Tonight’s referee takes big hit

Imagine taking a shot like this to the neck… and you are the referee!

Tonight’s referee for the Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk bout is the experienced Mark Nelson.

Eight years ago, Nelson was officiating a match between Maciej Sulecki and Hugo Centeno Jr, and I’m sure he has not forgotten it.

In the seventh round, the referee took a big hit to the neck from Centeno Jr. However, it seems he can take a punch, he ate it like a champion.

I’m sure he won’t want to take one of those shots tonight though…

Fan predictions…

Predictions from the Mail Sport readers are already rolling in, here are just a few…

Anonymous: Tyson is bigger, he’ll overpower him, Usyk isn’t small but Tyson makes him look small.

Karl, Malta: Tyson will out-punch Usyk given his height advantage and long Arms…A Knock out tonight!!!

Anonymous: Usyk will sleep fury tonight.

Can Fury answer his critics tonight?

There is no doubting what Tyson Fury has achieved as a fighter, but his most recent battle with Francis Ngannou has some people doubting him tonight.

It’s fair to say, Fury was far from his best in October 2023 against the MMA heavyweight in Saudi Arabia.

His controversial split decision win over a fighter who was making his professional boxing debut means critics are wondering if he has what it takes to down Oleksandr Usyk.

I must admit, he looks in miles better condition going into this one. Being knocked down by Ngannou certainly whacked him into shape.

Can he prove some of his doubters wrong tonight?

Revealed: Tyson Fury will move up sport’s rich list even if he loses to Oleksandr Usyk

Whatever happens tonight, Tyson Fury will walk away with a lot of money.

The Gypsy King will take home £81.5million from tonight’s fight, and that is guaranteed.

However, with the expected money expected to come in from pay-per-view, his earnings could rise above the £100 million mark.

That number means that the 35-year-old would soar up the Forbes ranking of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

WATCH: Lapin finishes Pudivtr

Just like that, it was over.

Daniel Lapin barely had to break a sweat to become the new WBC Intercontinental Light-Heavyweight champion.

A flurry of punches, and the job was done. Lapin is certainly one to watch for the future.

Sporting greats side-by-side

They meet again!

Anthony Joshua and Cristiano Ronaldo are both greats in their respective sports, with the latter one of the greatest athletes of all time.

They will both be sat next to each other to watch tonight’s spectacular fight unravel, I’m sure Joshua will be able to talk Ronaldo through the tactics being deployed. I mean, he has first-hand knowledge…

They met two months ago the night that Joshua dramatically knocked out Francis Ngannou in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in what is now billed as ‘Knockout Chaos’.

I’m sure they will have lots to talk about, it would be interesting to listen in…

Daniel Lapin stops Octavio Pudivtr in the first round!

Well, that was very quick.

Blink and you’ll miss it. Daniel Lapin stops Octavio Pudivtr in the first round to become the new WBC Intercontinental Light-Heavyweight champion.

Lapin was really impressive there, he finished off Pudivtr with a flurry of punches and his final shot proved too much for the Portuguese light-heavyweight fighter.

Lapin has a bright future ahead of him, what a way to round off the prelims.

Is this the biggest fight of the century?

I have been having this debate with many people over the course of the past week.

Tonight is absolutely huge, it’s 25 years since we last saw an undisputed title fight. To put it in perspective, I wasn’t even born when Lennox Lewis Evander Holyfield faced off.

So, what do all of you think, is this the fight of the century?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Excited for the night ahead!

Thank you, Tamara, for the lovely words.

Right, I’m not sure about you, but I am extremely excited for the night ahead. This fight has been a long time coming, and we are now under seven hours away from Tyson Fury and Okesandr Usyk trading punches.

I’ve put my seat belt on, I’m assuming you all have had yours on for the last four hours of build-up.

It’s going to be a rollercoaster of a night!

It’s been a trip…

… but it’s time for me to hand over to the main card maestro, Harry Bamforth, to see you through the remainder of the build-up all the way to the night’s action – and the main event.

You’re in safe hands!

Isaac Lowe WINS via unanimous decision

Ahmadi took Lowe the distance, but in the Briton was just too competent to allow him a route back into the fight.

John Fury is ringside to offer his congratulations to the close family friend, while both men get patched up. The first one has been a bloody one.

Tonight’s main card line-up: in full

  • Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk (ringwalks 10.30pm, fight time 11pm)
  • Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Breidis
  • Joe Cordina vs Anthony Cacace
  • Frank Sanchez vs Agit Kabayel
  • Moses Itauma vs Iija Mezencev
  • Mark Chamberlain vs Joshua Wahab
  • Sergey Kovalev vs Robin Sirwan Safar
  • David Nyika vs Michael Seitz

In Riyadh, the preliminary undercard is underway

With Isaac Lowe up against Hasibullah Ahmadi in the night’s first encounter.

Lowe is looking particularly lively, and heading into round 8, the Briton steps it up a gear, rushing Ahmadi as his opponent starts to lose his legs.

The bell comes just in time, and the two fighters retreat to their corners. Lowe will be seeking the hammer blow.

Expect front-row ‘heavyweights’ too

There’s usually no skimping on star wattage when Saudi throws fight night, and a glimpse at tonight’s seating chance confirms it.

Having one of football’s biggest icons on payroll certainly doesn’t hurt if you’re looking for eyeballs, does it?

Becky Ives prepares to step into Laura Woods’ shoes

The TNT Sports presenter has been a perenial fixture on boxing’s biggest nights for her broadcaster since making her move to the channel last summer, but Woods last night announced that she hasn’t travelled to Saudi Arabia… on the heels of suffering a painful-looking injury to her face and arms.

In her stead up steps Becky Ives, preparing to front coverage for the rights-holder for what will be arguably the biggest fight of this century to date.

So who is the presenter up to the task? You can find out more about her, below.

Drake places HUGE Fury bet – AKA some might refer to as ‘a bad sign’

What makes a curse a curse?

Drake’s sportsbetting career was fallen under a dark star. There’s not an athlete or team in the world that would comfortably stand up and say, ‘yes, Drake, back me’, with the rapper having bet vast sums on a number of big games and either missed the mark entirely – ask Logan Paul about that one – or lost on a technicality, such as with the World Cup final in 2022.

That’s not to say that Drake hasn’t seen success, such as at this year’s Super Bowl. But can Fury’s form stand up to the hand of fate?

WATCH: Don’t blink until… with Joseph Parker

The heavyweight steps into the hotseat with Charlotte Daly to rate Fury in the most creative of ways.

Couldn’t help but giggle when Parker really worked to ensure he didn’t blink for Jake Paul.

Enjoy, below!

Now, on the topic of that headbutt

If you have been living under a rock this week and peeped out from under it for the first time to read Simon Jordan’s column, let’s recap: one Fury has already seen blood spilt this week.

That would be Fury Snr, never the shy and retiring type, and fired up enough to headbutt a member of Usyk’s team shortly in the lobby of the Riyadh Hilton Hotel.

Fury himself seemed amused – Usyk, less so. The Ukrainian even made a point of saying that he had kept his own fighters under wraps.

You can read more, and see more, around the fracas, below.

WATCH: Fury shares his last word

In the form of an ultra-slick rundown of his life and career to date. From flat on the canvas to tallest in the world – it’s stirring stuff.

But does he, in his own (or the voiceover’s) words, have capacity to become the man? That remains to be seen.

Exclusive: Charlotte Daly sits down with Oleksandr Usyk

In the build-up to tonight’s fight, Charlotte was invited into Usyk’s training camp ahead of the clash of his life.

This is an unmissable piece. Make sure you don’t, below.

The Cat’s fight against something greater than Fury

Usyk’s Ukrainian heritage is central to his pride and performance in the ring – and that has only increased ten-fold since Russia’s invasion of his country in February 2022.

In another hat-tip to his heritage, the heavyweight turned up at yesterday’s weigh-in wearing a traditional Ukrainian vyshyvanka – a mere 24 hours after National Vyshyvanka Day, might I add – decorated with a pictured of war hero Oleksandr Matsievskyi. He was a soldier executed by Russian forces during the Battle of Bakhmut in December 2022.

A potted history of Saudi Arabia’s 2023-24 boxing series

  • October – ‘Battle of the Baddest’

Fury versus Ngannou. Seasoned veteran versus debutant. A walkover? Not quite. Ngannou nearly gave an underprepared Fury the scare of his life, dropping him to the canvas, and almost sneaking victory. The MMA star acquitted himself well – but it was the Gypsy King who took the first belt of Riyadh Season.

  • December – ‘Day of Reckoning’

The first of the proposed Fury-Usyk dates, but when that was promptly delayed, it was Anthony Joshua’s time to get top billing – but not against co-headliner Deontay Wilder, as expected or desired. Instead, he made light work of Otto Wallin, and the Bronze Bomber was pulverised by Joseph Parker.

A quick turnaround for Joshua, this time going toe-to-toe with Ngannou. The Briton stopped the Cameroonian in stunning fashion, laying important groundwork for a long-awaiting meeting with Fury… if he can swipe all of Usyk’s belt, that is.

… That takes us all the way up to this evening – and there’s a mouthwatering Queensberry versus Matchroom card still to come.

You’ve seen Lennox’s…

… now have a listen to Evander’s!

Holyfield is next up ranking the greatest heavyweights of all-time, exclusively for Mail Sport.

TALE OF THE TAPE: Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk

Where does the time go? We’re now nearly eight hours off the estimated ringwalk time, so why not flick through a detailed run-through of our two would-be undisputed heavyweight champions?

No detail spared here – it’s Mail Sport’s Tale of the Tape, below.

Exclusive: Evander Holyfield: the interview

If there’s one man who knows how the fighters will be feeling as they prepare for an undisputed heavyweight fight, it’s Evander Holyfield.

Charlotte Daly sat down with the boxing icon earlier this week, and you can watch – and read – her interview with the Real Deal below.

WATCH: A throwback to Fury and Usyk’s first meeting

Were we ever so young?

Flashback to 2019, when both were ringside for Artur Beterbiev’s knockout victory over Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Usyk was still fighting cruiserweight when the friendly exchange took place – and five years later, prepares for the once-in-a-lifetime face-off.

Things are unlikely to be so friendly in Riyadh.

The looooong road to Fury vs Usyk

First staring one another down after Fury’s defeat of Chisora in 2022, the journey to Riyadh has been a long and winding one – with many boxing fans wondering at numerous points if a meeting would EVER take place between the two heavyweights.

First up was the scrapped Wembley fight, floated for March 2023, but set aside following a disagreement over the rematch clause in the fight’s terms.

After a Saudi intervention, a December date was then agreed – only for Fury’s tussle with Ngannou in October to fling a spanner in the works. Cue a rearrangement, and announcement for February 2024.

Or so we thought, until Fury picked up a nasty cut sparring in preparation. Breaks officially pumped.

So May 18 it is – or should be. In the words of Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk – ‘my confidence (in the fight happening) will grow higher when I hear the bell for the first round.’

Saudi Arabia’s titantic pulling power – and the role of Turki Alalshikh

Over the past year, boxing fans have been treated to some of the greatest spectacles in the sport – in record time. Gone are the drawn-out squabbles between fighters and promoters, the endless back-and-forths: Saudi are making fights happen.

The Kingdom’s success at bringing the biggest contests to their shores sits Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi’s General Authority for Entertainment and an avid boxing fan. Armed with eye-watering financial rewards and unprecedented set-ups for big fights, Saudi’s offers have just about every top fighter scampering to their shores – much to the delight of the sport’s aficionados.

But who is the high-ranking government minister?

For more information, why not prime yourself with Mail Sport’s profile on Alalshikh ahead of tonight’s clash – you’ll be hearing his name a lot…

Lennox Lewis on the greatest heavyweights of all-time

Game recognises game – do you agree with the Lion’s picks?

He sat down with Charlotte Daly in Riyadh to pass judgement, below.

Secrets of the diet that got ‘fat pig’ Tyson Fury from 27 stone to 19

One of his lowest career weights on Saturday night, Fury’s body transformation ahead of facing off with Usyk has been nothing short of remarkable – particularly in light of the place he was coming from.

You can find out more about the brutal work the Gypsy King has been putting in at the gym – and at the breakfast table – below.

25 years on, the return of a legendary showdown

Both Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield are in Saudi Arabia to watch and see who will be crowned the next undisputed heavyweight champion, 25 years on from their two-bout tussle for supremacy in 1999.

But could this fight supply even half as much drama as all those years ago?

Mail Sport revisited the showdown in detail, which you can peruse at your leisure, below.

Mail Sport’s Charlotte Daly is on the ground in Riyadh

… and has been speaking to the great and the good of the boxing world in the build-up to tonight’s showpiece event.

Usyk’s proud compatriot Wladimir Klitschko has his say on the geopolitical significance on the fight, below.

Fans claim ‘cool as a cucumber’ Oleksandr Usyk is ‘under Tyson Fury’s skin’

Tyson being Tyson? Or a marked man with just over 24 hours to go?

Fans on social media ran their gimlet eyes over the weigh-in fracas and came out firmly on Team Usyk. A man of few words, composure is the Ukrainian’s modus operandi, and it didn’t take much for him to preserve ice cube status alongside the foul-mouthed Fury.

I don’t buy total psychological collapse, of course. But it’s always thrilling to see fire meet ice.

Friday’s weigh-in: the results

A slimmed down Tyson Fury proved that he hasn’t disappeared entirely, checking in at 262lbs.

But that’s still 39lbs more than his Ukrainian opponent, who hit his career-heaviest weight at 223lbs.

That, however, wasn’t what most people thought after Michael Buffer incorrectly called him at 233lbs – to many a raised eyebrow of faint approval – only for the weight to be corrected in viral footage…

You can see for yourself below.

No shortage of drama at last night’s weigh-in…

After a cool, composed press conference the day before, things looked suspiciously poised for any fight build-up featuring one Tyson Fury. That is, until he reached his final face-off with Usyk.

The last time the pair attempted to lock eyes and stare one-another down, Fury had stared into the distance, prompting some to suggest he was rattled. Not so on Friday night, when the Gypsy King was more than happy to get up close and personal.

You can watch the tension boil over below, and read the full details of what exactly Fury is looking to do to the ‘little f*****’ tonight in our weigh-in report.

Fury takes on Usyk – details in brief

Saudi Arabia has played host to a number of boxing’s big nights in the past eight months since the inaugural Riyadh Season face-off between Fury and Francis Ngannou, but tonight’s showing simply blows the rest out of the water.

But what time do things get going, and who else could experience the fight of a lifetime? And if you wanted to watch the fight alongside tuning into our live coverage, where can you do it?

For this info and more, all will be revealed via the link below.

It’s finally time…

Hello and welcome to Mail Sport’s live coverage of all the build-up ahead of the big one: Tyson Fury’s showdown with Oleksandr Usyk to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

We’re some way off the history-making fight – ring walks are planned for about 11 hours from now, at 10.30pm BST, but that could well turn out to be pie-in-the-sky timing – but there’s a lot to catch up on between then and now.

Ready? Let’s go!

Key Updates

  • THE SCORECARD: Usyk wins by split decision

  • WATCH: The moment Usyk ROCKED Fury

  • COMPUBOX STATS: Usyk beats Fury

  • Should the referee have stopped the fight in round nine?


  • Jeff Powell: Last round even… A draw

  • ROUND NINE: Fury saved by the bell!

  • There goes the bell for round one!

  • Fury vs Usyk – Tale of the Tape


  • POLL: Fight of the century?



  • The Gypsy King is here…

  • Usyk arrives at the Kingdom Arena

  • Moses Itauma STOPS Ilja Mezencev in SECOND ROUND!

  • Chamberlain KO’s Wahab in ROUND ONE!

  • Safar beats Kovalev by unanimous decision!

  • Can Fury answer his critics tonight?

  • Is this the biggest fight of the century?

  • Tonight’s main card line-up: in full

  • Evander Holyfield: the interview

  • Mail Sport’s Charlotte Daly is on the ground in Riyadh

  • Fury takes on Usyk – details in brief