By: Shane Willoughby
The former undisputed Cruiserweight Champion of the world Oleksandr Usyk Has finally relinquished his WBO title as he looks to continue his career at Heavyweight.
The WBO title was actually the first belt the Ukranian won at the division against Krzysztof Glowacki in 2016, before he went on to complete the monopoly.
Oleksandr Usyk was set to make his heavyweight debut on the 25th May against Carlos Takam but injured his bicep in training. With Usyk unable to fight and his move to heavyweight inevitable, his belts had to be freed eventually.
The 2012 gold medallist relinquished his WBA title earlier this year and last week became the WBC emeritus champion, allowing the WBC title to become vacant. So him relinquishing the WBO belt came as no surprise.
Whilst Usyk return to the ring hasn’t yet been announced, it is certainly going to be at heavyweight. Which is interesting as it’s possible he can end up fighting for the same title he relinquished, just at heavyweight.
As a former WBO champion he moves up to heavyweight with the option to become mandatory. It is extremely likely that the WBO mandatory will be called this year.
However, with Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz scheduled for a rematch, the WBO could strip the title from Ruiz, similar to what the IBF did with Tyson Fury. Which means Usyk could fight for a vacant belt this year.
Either way, Oleksandr Usyk has many options moving forward and the winner of the 1st World Boxing Super Series at Cruserweight has expressed his hope for one at heavyweight.
What has already been a successful career, in only 15 fights becoming the first champion to hold all four belts at Cruiserweight. There is not much Usyk needs to do to cement his name in the hall of fame.