Tyson Fury will defend the WBC heavyweight title for the second time this weekend, as the Briton takes on compatriot Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium.
Fury won the belt from Deontay Wilder in February 2020, stopping the American in the seventh round after their controversial split draw in December 2018.
While most observers felt that Fury, 33, had done enough to beat Wilder in their initial clash, the “Gypsy King” left no doubt in their rematch.
Still, Wilder was contractually owed a trilogy bout, and so the rivals went head to head one last time in October 2021. Once again Fury secured a finish, knocking out the “Bronze Bomber” in the 11th round after twice climbing off the canvas himself – as he had done in the pair’s first in-ring meeting.
That fight last October marked Fury’s first defense of the WBC heavyweight title, and now he takes on mandatory challenger and interim champion Whyte in a main-event contest in front of more than 90,000 fans in London.
While Fury has suggested that he will retire after fighting Whyte, most fans and pundits are skeptical.
Should Fury lose to Whyte (28-2, 19 knockouts), a result that most would deem a major upset, the Britons would almost certainly face off for a second time.
However, if Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) wins, the likelihood is that the 33-year-old will be set for a unification bout.
Oleksandr Usyk is the reigning WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion, having taken the titles from Anthony Joshua in September.
The undefeated Ukrainian outpointed the Briton with relative ease at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, leading “AJ” to quickly trigger a rematch clause.
A step-aside deal, which would have seen Usyk face Fury this spring, fell through – reportedly due to Joshua’s monetary demands – before the Ukrainian returned to his home country in March to aid its defense against the Russian invasion.
Usyk later announced that month, however, that he would be leaving Ukraine to begin preparing for his rematch with Joshua, which is now expected to take place in June or July – likely in Saudi Arabia.
Should Joshua win that contest, a trilogy bout with Usyk is possible, but it seems more likely that the 32-year-old would go on to finally face Fury in the biggest British fight in decades.
Last year it seemed that Fury and Joshua were set to contest two fights in 2022, but Wilder’s contractually-owed trilogy bout with Fury scuppered that prospect, as did “AJ”’s loss to Usyk.
Still, it remains on the cards if both men can win their upcoming fights against Whyte and Usyk respectively.
Fury previously held the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts, dethroning Wladimir Klitschko with a decision win in 2015. The Briton would relinquish the WBA, WBO and IBO titles, however, amid an anti-doping investigation that followed positive tests for cocaine and the prohibited substance nandrolone. Fury was later stripped of the IBF belt.
He subsequently took a hiatus from boxing before returning in 2018.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.