Fury vs Usyk fight start time slapped with strict curfew as British boxing fanatics get their wish

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk
Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk face off -Credit:Getty Images

Fight-mad British boxing lovers will not need to set an alarm for the blockbuster showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia.

The gargantuan contest to crown the first unified heavyweight champion in 25 years takes place on Saturday, May 18, as the Gypsy King and the former cruiserweight kingpin do battle in the desert. And the Saudi-backed event is determined for the mega-fight to get going significantly earlier than Anthony Joshua's brutal knockout win over Francis Ngannou.

AJ didn't clamber over the ropes until 00:25 in the early hours of a Sunday morn, but organisers want punters to forego the Horlicks this time around. The event is targeting an earlier start which will likely see boxing lovers enjoy Fury and Usyk duking it out long before last orders. The Manchester-based fighter is itching to go after the brutal cut which pushed back the original fight date.

Lovers of Saturday night telly can still get their fill with the fight not expected to start before 23:00 – but long before the extra late one which saw Joshua dismantle the man Fury struggled mightily with. The pair are likely to fight again in October with a cast-iron rematch clause in place.

The plan is good news for fight lovers on these shores who have found the fight times in Saudi a struggle. Those who feast on the sport had become used to either 10:00pm UK PPVs or setting the alarm for 4.00am to tune into a mouthwatering showdown from Las Vegas.