By: Hans Themistode
After a not so impressive debut at Heavyweight, Oleksandr Usyk gets a second chance at a first impression against Dereck Chisora.
It wasn’t that long that Oleksandr Usyk was considered the big man on campus.
In 2018, he took down every single big name in the Cruiserweight division including Mairis Bredis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew. Each of those wins provided him with something different.
The win over Bredis gifted him with the WBO title to add to his WBC collection. The victory over Gassiev landed him the IBF and WBA belts. His win over Bellew didn’t bring anymore added hardware but it did solidify him as the best in the weight class. No questions asked.
Fast forward two years later, and the question marks are everywhere.
2019, saw Usyk move up to the Heavyweight division and fight just once. Chazz Witherspoon was the opponent, and before you use google to search his credentials, just be warned that they aren’t very impressive.
The win over Witherspoon did very little to convince anyone that Usyk is a true contender in the division. But on May 23rd, at the O2 Arena, in the United Kingdom, Usyk gets his chance to make a statement against Dereck Chisora.
It seems like Dereck Chisora has been a contender in the Heavyweight division for years now. Wait, that’s because he has been. The former title contender has been in almost every position during his 13 year career. From young prospect, to contender to now, the gatekeeper of the division.
The nine losses on his resume would tell you that he’s nothing more than a B level fighter. But his three straight wins, including back to back stoppages might say otherwise.
Chisora is considered old at 36. He’s also considered a step or two below the elite of the division. Simply chalk this one up as another easy win for Usyk right?
Maybe, but the former Cruiserweight champ doesn’t think so.
“I expect a real test in Chisora – he is strong, tough and resilient,” said Usyk. ”I recall being an amateur and watching his fight with Vitali Klitschko. It seemed so big and far away. Now I am myself taking a fight against Chisora. I am working hard in my training camp to show a spectacular performance on May 23rd. Dear friends, I will see you soon!”