By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Oleksandr Usyk has been built up to be some sort of monster. With the first five years of his career spent at the cruiserweight division, Usyk became known as not only a skillful boxer but also a belt collector.
Over the span of two years, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) captured every single world title in the cruiserweight division. His subsequent move up in weight has yet to bring him a world title but the results are all the same. Meaning, a tally in the win column.
While the victories continue to pile up, former Usyk opponent in Dereck Chisora doesn’t view him as the monster many depict him as. In fact, after taking several of his shots flush on the chin, the 37-year-old could only describe his opponent in one way.
“The guy can’t punch,” said Usyk to IFL TV during a recent interview. “To be honest, he’s not a scare in the heavyweight division. Physically he’s not strong. I ate one of his best shots and it didn’t bother me. His output is good but he has no power.”
Chisora’s criticism of Usyk doesn’t come from an outsider’s perspective but from first-hand experience. On October 31st, in Wembley Arena, Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) was given a crack at the former undisputed cruiserweight champion. Heading into their showdown, the prevailing thought surrounding their matchup was that Usyk would win a comfortable decision on the judge’s scorecards. However, the physicality of Chisora proved to be a much bigger issue as Usyk had difficulty adjusting to the British contender’s aggressive style.
Following 12 evenly fought rounds, Usyk managed to eke out a close decision victory. Unlike past defeats where Chisora would simply brush his shortcomings under the rug and move forward, the loss to Usyk is still something that visibly irritates him.
“All he did was run away. I was very disappointed. I thought we were in the professional game, not the amateurs. I pushed the fight, chased the fight, I did everything in the fight. All he did was run away.”
Despite Chisora placing Usyk towards the bottom of the barrel in terms of heavyweight contenders, the 37-year-old does believe that the former cruiserweight kingpin has one trick up his sleeve that will allow him to bank wins against the elite of the heavyweight division.
“With his movement, he would Dillian (Whyte). He would beat Joe Joyce. It’s his movement. If you’re not prepared for that movement then he’s going to walk all over you. He doesn’t have much power but if you don’t prepare for the movement then it’s going to be a long night for you.”