By: Hans Themistode
The skills of Oleksandr Usyk were never in question, but coming up from a cruiserweight division in which he dominated, his size was.
A one sided beatdown of fringe contender Chazz Witherspoon did little to answer any questions regarding his standing in the heavyweight division late last year. But after a decision win over bonafide contender Dereck Chisora, the Ukrainian product answered those questions tonight.
After months of cancelations due to both injuries and a worldwide pandemic, Usyk and Chisora finally entered the ring against one another. The game plan was simple for both men.
For Chisora, he wanted to turn things into a bar fight. Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) on the other hand, wanted to steer clear of the big bombs that would be heading his way and box.
Things couldn’t have started any better for the British native. He came barreling straight ahead from the opening bell and placed nonstop pressure on his man. Not many of his shots landed but it was clear that Usyk wasn’t exactly having fun in there.
However, with the first three rounds going how he wanted, Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) seemingly ran out of steam. He backed off his consistent pressure and instead appeared content with plodding forward while throwing one shot at a time.
The change in both his game plan and stamina, turned the tide in favor of Usyk. The former undisputed cruiserweight titlist began finding his rhythm as his shots appeared to be ubiquitous.
As the rounds ticked by, it was becoming more and more obvious that Usyk was the fresher man and the more polished boxer. Chisora, to his credit, never gave in no matter how many times his head snapped back due to a right, left combination from Usyk.
During the championship rounds, Chisora appeared to have nothing left. The big shots were thrown far and few between and he essentially became a sitting duck for his opponents offense.
The British product walked slowly out of his corner in the final round, while Usyk appeared to be just fine. As the bell rang to signal the end of their contest, a dejected Chisora had no interest in shaking the out stretched hand of his opponent. Usyk though, sauntered around the ring with his hand raised while screaming inside of the empty Wembley arena.
As the two waited on the final word coming from the judges scorecards, unified champion Anthony Joshua was seen taking in the view from ringside.
A few moments later, the official decision was announced. One judge scoring the bout had it 117-112 while the remaining two had it much closer at 115-113, all in favor of Usyk.
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