Saudi Arabia is still plotting a 'HUGE' December 23 fight… with Francis Ngannou set to headline after Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk's blockbuster clash was pushed back until February

  • Francis Ngannou is likely to headline the December 23 show in Saudi Arabia
  • An announcement about the fight is expected at some point in the next week
  • Eddie Hearn reacts to Fury vs Ngannou on THE HOOK – our new boxing podcast

Saudi Arabia is still reportedly planning a gigantic December 23 show with Francis Ngannou as the headliner – even without Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk

The latter two had been set to fight on that date but Fury emerged battered and bruised after his controversial win against Ngannou in October. 

Fury was even knocked down and now needs more time to recover than expected after his narrow scorecard win. 

However, Ngannou looks set to take their place at the top of the bill just before Christmas and an announcement is expected next week, according to BoxingNews

Zhilei Zhang and Joseph Parker are among the names rumoured to be possible opponents for the former UFC champion. 

Francis Ngannou is reportedly set to headline the December 23 event in Saudi Arabia

Francis Ngannou is reportedly set to headline the December 23 event in Saudi Arabia 

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk were originally supposed to but will now meet in February

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk were originally supposed to but will now meet in February

The Gypsy King needs longer to recover than expected after a bruising contest with Ngannou

The Gypsy King needs longer to recover than expected after a bruising contest with Ngannou

Boxing News’ report also states that Martin Bakole and Moses Itauma are expected to be invited back after impressing the Saudis with their respective knockouts.

Usyk and Fury were originally take part in the December 23 event, mid-way through the Riyadh season and the former’s promoter said that the Gypsy King ‘cannot escape that’.

After his fight with Ngannou, with nasty purple bruising around his battered left eye, Fury insisted: ‘I’ve only got some surface bruising.

‘There was a little bit of a head clash and a few punches but nothing major, no serious injuries.’

Morecambe’s WBC heavyweight king had agreed a deal with the WBA, IBF and WBO to contest all the belts.

When asked flat-out if December 23 was still on the cards, he said: ‘I leave all that to my team, I don’t get involved’.

Usyk and Fury were supposed to fight for all the belts in December but that will have to wait

Usyk and Fury were supposed to fight for all the belts in December but that will have to wait