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After knocking Dillian Whyte out in the sixth round with a vicious right uppercut to defend his WBC Heavyweight belt, Tyson Fury emphatically declared his retirement to the crowd.
The Gypsy King stated that he had given his word to his wife that he would hang up his gloves after defeating Whyte, and would prioritise both his health and family time. Having done it all in the ring, and never tasted defeat across 34 professional fights, Fury was perfectly entitled to wrap up a hugely successful career.
And yet, just months later, there were reports of boxers seeing Fury training hard. Suddenly, the Englishman’s retirement began to seem a little unbelievable, particularly given Fury’s propensity for having something of a loose filter in his post-fight interviews.
Fury Returns With One Goal in Mind
Sure enough, Fury was soon back in the ring with one goal in mind: Unification of the heavyweight belts for the first time in decades with a fight against Oleksandr Usyk.
As soon as Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua for a second time, Fury began calling out the Ukrainian boxer. His team were unable to set a fight for 2022, so Fury stepped into the ring with veteran Dereck Chisora. This was never going to be a competitive fight, with Fury dominating from the first exchange, eventually stopping a thoroughly beaten Chisora in the 10th round.
Usyk was ringside for the match, and immediately afterwards Fury called him out once more, throwing taunts at the Ukrainian and doing his best to lure him into a fight.
Biggest Fight of the Year Likely to Occur in February or March 2023
Representatives from both the Fury and Usyk camps have come out saying a clash between the two heavyweights will most likely occur in the first quarter of 2023. Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas has stated that, “On our side, everything is done… Right now, it’s Tyson Fury’s decision.”
In return, when questioned about the fight, Fury has responded saying, “[It will happen] no earlier than February 18, no later than March 4.”
With the fight looking on track to occur within the first three months of next year, boxing fans are speculating about where the match would most likely take place. There’s a good chance that Wembley Stadium in London would be the venue, with 95,000 fans supporting home favourite Fury if that were to be the case. However, Saudi Arabia has also been a popular venue of late, meaning that the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah where Usyk won his most recent rematch over Joshua is also a strong option.
Fury the Early Favourite Ahead of Potential Usyk Clash
Though dates have not been set in stone for what would be the biggest fight of 2023, bookies are already offering outright odds on the bout.
Tyson Fury is the early favourite, with odds of 4/11 (1.36) solidly ahead of Usyk’s 2/1 (3.00). A draw is seen as highly unlikely, currently sitting at 18/1 (19.00).
Betting on Oleksandr Usyk to come away with the upset here would not be a bad bet. Usyk is highly motivated, having spent much of his time fighting for the Ukrainian army over the past year. He will garner significant support from neutral fans, and has proven on several occasions that height, reach, or what the bookies think do not faze him.
With a return of 2/1 (3.00), Usyk could well hand Fury the first defeat of his professional career early next year.
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