By Frank Warren

THE FIGHT THE world has been waiting for will take place in Riyadh on Saturday night with a showdown that represents the pinnacle of our sport.

The undisputed heavyweight championship of the world is like our World Cup or Olympic Games. Perhaps even bigger because there is no guarantee that it will happen every four years.

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are fighting for one of the greatest prizes in world sport and the outcome at the Kingdom Arena will echo across the globe, with the winner becoming one of the most recognisable faces on the planet.

It quite simply doesn’t get any bigger than this and, when I say it is the Fight of the Century, it is because that is exactly what it is. The distinction of being undisputed in this weight division hasn’t been fought for for over 25 years and now it is happening.

It is really happening.

I know there is a school of thought that says this particular fight has been a long time coming, but it hasn’t really, certainly compared to the major showdowns of the past.

Oleksandr became unified champion in late-ish 2021, but he was also signed up to a rematch clause, which came into effect roughly a year later. Since this time he has fulfilled a WBA mandatory obligation against Daniel Dubois.

Think back to when Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis finally got it on. Tyson was well past his best and boxing history is littered with big fights that have become uneven contests by the time they take place.

This one is nothing of the sort. They are both in their prime and in absolute peak condition. Two undefeated world champions ready to battle for heavyweight supremacy.

The sheer magnitude of this occasion makes it the biggest fight ever involving a Briton and I am convinced Tyson will prevail in a convincing fashion.

He is switched on to what he has to do like never before, ready to etch his place in the fistic history books forever.

Of course, as you’ve probably come to expect from shows staged in Riyadh, there is much, much more than just the main event to look forward to.

I won’t trawl through the whole card, but Jai Opetaia vs Mairis Briedis represents the elite of the cruiserweight division, while we also have two world champions in Joe Cordina and Anthony Cacace in a super featherweight shootout.

On a personal level, I am excited to see two of our young stars – Mark Chamberlain and Moses Itauma – being given a further opportunity to shine in Saudi, with Mark fighting for a prestigious lightweight title in the WBC Silver championship.

Bringing this green belt home will give Mark a significant ranking and you’ve only got to look at what winning this title did for Nick Ball across a short space of time to understand its significance.

Our bright young heavy Moses will provide everyone with a glimpse into the future on this heavyweight headlined card and being involved with such an event is an invaluable experience for the 19-year-old.

We are about to witness a monumental moment in sporting history and fans at home can tune in to watch it all unfold on all three major sports broadcasters. Naturally, from my point of view, TNT Sports Box Office is the place to be, with the action beginning at 2.30pm in the UK.

It goes without saying that, while we are experiencing the joys of elite boxing here in Riyadh, our thoughts are very much with Sherifdeen Lawal, who lost his life following his first professional fight on Sunday.

My sincere condolences go out to Sherif’s family and friends at this terribly sad time.

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