By: Hans Themistode
The build up was both long and hilarious, but in just a few more hours heavyweight contenders Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora will finally enter the ring.
For years now, Usyk, 33, danced circles around his opponents in the Cruiserweight division. With every single world title wrapped around his waist, the Ukrainian product made the move to the heavyweight division. Yet, after battling various injuries, Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) has fought only once at his new weight class. A matchup with the relatively unknown Chazz Witherspoon.
Many, including former Cruiserweight and Heavyweight titlist David Haye were left unimpressed. With that being said, the 33 year old will look to put everyone on notice when he takes on Chisora in Wembley arena in the United Kingdom.
For the majority of their build up, Usyk spent much of it asking Chisora how he was doing on social media. The soon to be 36 year old would playfully respond but while doing so, stayed in the gym working on his craft.
On the line tonight for both contenders isn’t a world title, but rather a near shot at claiming one. At the moment, Usyk currently holds the number one contender spot in the WBO sanctioning body, a title that Anthony Joshua holds. Chisora on the other hand, sits in the eight position, but should he pull off the upset, he’ll see his ranking vault towards the top.
The British products lone shot at a title came eight years ago against then champion Vitali Klitschko. Since then, his results have been somewhat of a mixed bag, winning four or five fights in a row against subpar competition before ultimately losing against the upper echelon of the division including the likes of Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Kubrat Pulev. The latter is challenging Joshua for his heavyweight titles on December 12th.
That pattern has continued as Chisora has come out on the winning end in his last three contests against inferior competition.
In short, Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) has always seemingly come up short, and with oddsmakers having him as high as an 8-1 underdog, they’re expecting more of the same later on tonight.
The odds however, aren’t something that concerns him. Both he and his promoter David Haye, believe that the betting public has the wrong man favored on the night.
“Chisora will cause one of the biggest upsets in boxing,” explained Haye during their final press conference. “It will be well deserved, he’s worked so hard.”