Fury SNUBS Usyk face-off as heavyweight stakes are raised ahead of Riyadh blockbuster

We waited, and we waited, and we waited. And it never came.

Thursday night in Riyadh was supposed to provide the first face-off of fight week between the two protagonists in boxing’s ‘fight of the Century’ so far. But no dice.

Tyson Fury (34-0-1) and Oleksandr Usyk (21-0) will meet in the Kingdom Arena on Saturday night to crown boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis way back in 1999. But first they have to go through all of those pre-fight preliminaries.

DAZN: Sign up to watch Fury vs Usyk LIVE!

Those preliminaries continued on Thursday evening with the final press conference before the big fight – with only then Friday’s official weigh-in to punctuate the agonising build-up.

The presser provided few moments of intrigue – if anything it was the fashion stakes which brought more attention with both men clad in eye-catching suits, and Fury in a stylish fedora hat.

Press conference analysis

Neither man had a great deal to say, with Fury in particular appearing anxious to get on with things and end the endless talking which precedes major PPV productions.

Once the pleasantries were over, both men took their positions on stage for the expected face-off in front of the world’s media. Only it never happened.

No Fury vs Usyk face-off

Fury instead stood to face the cameras instead, ignoring Uysk while the Ukrainian stared laser beams into the side of his bald head.

It was high drama as ever, with both men trying to gain a mental edge. Absolutely fascinating stuff as Usyk smiled while fixing that steely glare on Fury.

READ MORE: Fury vs Usyk tips and picks – our verdict on a heavyweight superfight

All this did was further whet the appetite for Saturday night in the desert, and before that Friday’s weigh-in. It promises to be spectacular, do not miss it.

When is Fury vs Usyk?

The bout will take place Saturday night in the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ring walks are expected at 11pm UK time (6pm Eastern Standard Time, 3pm PST on the West Coast and midnight CET).

How to watch live

Three outlets will broadcast the fight live in the UK on PPV – Sky Sports Box Office (£24.95), DAZN PPV (£24.99) and TNT Sports Box Office (£24.99).

In the U.S. meanwhile DAZN PPV and ESPN PPV will both air the show at a cost of $69.99.

What are they fighting for?

In heavyweight boxing terms, absolutely everything. All of the belts are on the line.

Fury is the WBC king and the lineal champion, while Usyk is the IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring magzine belt holder.

YouTube video