Tyson Fury is readying to get back in the ring for the first time since he beat his old rival Derek Chisora for the third time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last December. Unfortunately, i’s not for a blockbuster clash with fellow Briton Anthony Joshua or unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Instead, the man affectionately known as ‘The Gypsy King’ will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in the squared circle. It’s certainly not a fight that will draw as much attention as a bout against ‘AJ’ or Usyk, but it’s happening whether we like it or not.
That said, here’s a list of everything you need to know ahead of the fight.
When and where is the bout taking place?
The fight, which promoters are claiming will decide who is the “Baddest Man on the Planet”, will take place at Boulevard Hall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 28.
The bout is set to kick off Riyadh Season, which is an entertainment and sports festival that runs from October to March and is set to attract 12 million visitors to the Middle East.
Is it a proper fight?
Despite initial rumours that the fight was going to be an exhibition bout, it has since been confirmed that it will, in fact, be officially recognised by the WBC.
It will be a 10-round encounter, with three judges in place to decide the outcome should the fight make it to the final bell.
It will also appear on the résumés, meaning Fury’s unbeaten record is on the line against Ngannou. However, his WBC heavyweight title is not up for contention.
What are the odds?
Given that The Gypsy King is the WBC heavyweight champion of the world, while his opponent is making his debut in the boxing ring, it will come as no surprise that the Briton is the overwhelming favourite in the Fury v Ngannou odds.
The 35-year-old is fancied at odds as short as 1/10 to win the fight, while Ngannou is 7/1. The draw is 12/1. Fury’s most likely method of victory is a win via KO/TKO at 1/4, with a win by decision 5/1.
Alternatively, Ngannou is 8/1 to win by KO/TKO, while a victory by decision is a whopping 40/1.
The bookies aren’t expecting the fight to go any further than halfway, with a Fury win in rounds 1-5 priced at 4/5.
What has Fury said about the fight?
“Let’s put it this way, if I go to the boozer in a minute, and I get a bit cheeky, and a big old lump swings at me and hits me, it’s going to hurt me, isn’t it? Never mind an absolute killer like Ngannou,” The Gypsy King said.
“The man’s had 20 fights, he’s going from homeless to being world champion in six years, so I don’t underestimate anyone like that.
“I take him 100% seriously, I’m training as hard for him as I did for [Deontay] Wilder, [Wladimir] Klitschko, anyone. I’ve got to do my job, there’s no foregone conclusions.
“I don’t count my chickens before they hatch. Every man has to be respected and gets credit for stepping in that ring.
"If it’s anything less than an absolute war, it’ll be an easy night, but I’m preparing for an absolute battle royale.”
Who is on the undercard?
The undercard is due to get underway at 18:00 UK time and will include Fabio Wardley (16-0) and David Adeleye (12-0) putting their unbeaten records on the line for the British heavyweight title.
Joseph Parker, a former WBO heavyweight champion and training partner of Fury, will trade blows with Canadian Simon Kean (23-1).
Up-and-comer Moses Itauma will be hoping to extend his professional record to 6-0 as he is also set to feature on the undercard. But his opponent is yet to be named at the time of writing.