Tyson Fury - Oleksandr Usyk: The War of Wars. GETTY IMAGES

On Saturday the 18th, the long-awaited fight will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It will unify the heavyweight belts for the first time in 25 years. Tyson, in his presentation of the fight, points out that "it's all about the money." But the truth is that the winner of this fight will go down in boxing history. Usyk, cool and focused, is thinking about Saturday.

It could be a way to relieve the pressure. To hide what he really thinks. The Gypsy King, Tyson Fury, while presenting the fight against Oleksandr Usyk scheduled for next Saturday in Riyadh, declared that "it's all about money". It is true that the British fighter will earn $100 million (€92.3 million) for stepping into the ring, but it is really the winner of the fight who will go down in history.

The winner will be able to unify the heavyweight belts for the first time in 25 years. No one has done it since Lennox Lewis in 1999. "The truth is it's exciting for me. It's attractive because of the money I'm getting paid," Fury said this week. "Not because of the belts that are on the line." No one knows if he is being sincere or simply trying to relieve the pressure of immortality.

The son of Irish travellers will take home a $100 million purse from the fight, which could drive anyone mad, but there is really a lot more at stake on Saturday. Since Jack Dempsey in the 1920s, only 23 boxers can claim to be the highest ranked in the history of the sport. 

At the fight presentation, Tyson Fury appeared wearing a hat. GETTY IMAGES
At the fight presentation, Tyson Fury appeared wearing a hat. GETTY IMAGES

The names are breathtaking. Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson are just some of those who have done it, and now it's in the hands of Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. Are they really only thinking about money?

Usyk holds the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts, while Fury has the WBC title since 2020. Saudi Arabia, as Los Angeles or Las Vegas have always been called, is stealing the spotlight from the Mecca of boxing. On the best nights, this country is one of the perfect venues. 

This Saturday, 18 May, the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, with a capacity of over 40,000, will host one of the most eagerly awaited fights. Fury's father was left bleeding after a clash with a member of Usyk's team during the presentation on Monday. The atmosphere is heated.

Usyk arrives in Saudi Arabia convinced of unifying the belts. GETTY IMAGES
Usyk arrives in Saudi Arabia convinced of unifying the belts. GETTY IMAGES

Two different styles face each other. Usyk adapts to larger opponents, but his boxing is technical and agile, and although he lacks the punching power of others, it's a spectacle. It will be the first time that he will face a giant boxer, with long arms, with an unusual agility, and who this time will be in optimal shape, with less weight and more eager.

That's why when you analyse what Fury said months ago and what he's saying now, you realise he's hiding something. His desire to win is huge. It always has been, and nobody wants to lose. "There's so many belts on the line and nothing competes with that," Fury said last month in direct contradiction to this week's statement. "This is two undefeated heavyweight champions of the world meeting for all the belts and it hasn't been done for a long time," he added. That's right. Nothing like it.

These are two boxers who are at the perfect time in their careers. Both need to prove they are the best. The fight has been long awaited. First it had to be pushed back to February. Then a lapse in Fury's eye delayed it again, forcing them to look for another date. Now it's finally here. Fury's father liked the fight, hence the name Tyson. Yes, like Mike Tyson. Like one of the boxers that the British fighter will now be able to achieve in Riyadh. 

Fury made his debut in 2008, aged 20. He knocked out Hungarian Bela Gyongyosi in the first round. His record 16 years later shows 34 wins, 24 by knockout, and no losses.

Fury is physically strong and hurts his opponents, but mentally he's not as strong as he seems. Perhaps that's why his focus now is on the money he can make from the fight, rather than the glory and sporting significance it could have. His last fight was in October, also in Riyadh. It was against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who was making his boxing debut. 

An overweight, sluggish Fury struggled. He was knocked down in the third round before winning a controversial split decision. The fight didn't sit well with him and left him shaken. The last unified heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, is of the opinion that Fury can go down in history. 

"Tyson Fury has a lot of different weapons in his arsenal. He showed that he is aggressive and that he can move forward well in his fights with Deontay Wilder. "Those fights really showed his skill, his talent, his leadership in the ring. "I would put money on Fury. As long as it is the 100 per cent focused Fury," he told The Guardian.

"If Tyson Fury can't beat Usyk, Tyson is no good, end of story," he said. "This is my time, this is my destiny, this is my era and my generation. Done," the boxer concluded.