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Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury will throw down for second time before 2024 is out, according to Saudi Arabia’s boxing benefactor Turki Alalshikh. 

Usyk won a split decision against Fury in Riyadh earlier this month to cement his status as boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion in more than a quarter century in a thrilling 12-round fight in which the ‘Gypsy King’ was handed the first defeat of his professional career.

But the story of the two finest heavyweights of their generation is set for a second chapter, Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s general entertainment authority, has confirmed, with the rematch scheduled to take place just before Christmas on December 21.

The rematch had previously been provisionally set for October.

“The world will watch another historical fight again,” Alalshikh wrote on social media of the rematch. “Our commitment to boxing fans continues. We hope you enjoy it.” He did not state a location for the rematch, other than to say it will take place during ‘Riyadh Season’.

The formalisation of the rematch is of little surprise, given that Fury indicated in the aftermath of their first meeting that he would opt to exercise a clause in his contract which entitled him to a second shot against the unbeaten Ukrainian star.

In their first fight, Usyk won the WBC heavyweight championship to add to the WBA, WBO and IBF titles he already held following his first win over Anthony Joshua in September 2021. However, it is unlikely that the IBF title will be up for grabs in the rematch, with the sanctioning body set to strip Usyk of the belt as he will not be facing its mandatory challenger in his next bout.