By: Waqas Ali
Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is being pushed on the forefront for many big names in the heavyweight division.
The 32-year-old was recently announced as a potential opponent for Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title based on recent performance and credentials.
Moving in the queue, he is listed No.5 on the ranking. Overlapping the likes of Adam Kownacki, Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Oscar Rivas, that had been dropped down the list.
The Ukrainian star is also eligible for a voluntary defence by Wilder.
Dillian Whyte, who is the main mandatory for Wilder’s belt has had no luck in getting that opportunity.
He is currently awaiting a response from UKADA and VADA over an adverse finding in a UKAD test taken before his fight against Oscar Rivas, whom he defeated to secure the mandatory spot.
If cleared, he will be become the mandatory challenger in February 2021, according to the WBC.
With that being said, Usyk could lead the race as this would mean that a bout with Wilder could be in the works next year.
Without a doubt, Usyk is one of the best talents in boxing today. He currently boasts a record of 17 wins (13 KOS) and no defeats.
He conquered the cruiserweight division claiming the WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF titles.
In his first heavyweight bout, he retired Chazz Witherspoon in the seventh round. Usyk’s footwork, speed and power were exceptional and well-executed.
In round six, around the 1:59 mark, he threw a blistering four-punch combination that pushed Witherspoon on the dodge of his feet and roared the crowd as they cheered for him.
He landed an astonishing 70% of his power punches and 40% of his overall shots.
In his post-fight interview, he said that he was ready for whoever is there for him next because he had been made mandatory challenger for the WBO belt.
“I am ready, I am ready to fight whoever. If they give me the [WBO] mandatory then of course I am ready to take it,” Usyk said.
Just like with the WBC, Whyte was mandatory but did not get a shot at the title. The WBO stated in that because Usyk claimed all four major belts and earned the title ‘Super Champion’.
He was also available to fight at the time of the report being released whereas Whyte was scheduled to fight on July 20th.
Boxing sources have stated that no mandatory challenger has been filled until after the Ruiz vs Joshua rematch.
British contender Dereck Chisora was named another candidate for Usyk and since he recently defeated fellow Brit David Price, he had been urging for a fight against the newly heavyweight.
His manager David Haye said: “He’s mandatory for the WBO world title and Dereck’s just won a WBO trinket. It would make sense to make the fight.”
A potential clash between Usyk and Chisora would be a huge sell. British boxing fans have taken Usyk as a fighter of a great resume, risks and rewards.
To support this point, in the fight against Tony Bellew, it generated more than 600,000 in viewership with 20,000 fans in attendance at the Manchester Arena.
The level and popularity of Usyk in the boxing world is strong and huge. He is well appreciated and strongly commended from the hardcore boxing fans who study the manly art of the sweet science.
His punches are sweet to see but sour to taste.