By: Hans Themistode
Former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made a successful debut at the Heavyweight division just a few short days ago.
A jam packed crowd at the Wintrust Arena, in Chicago witnessed Usyk dismantle his late replacement foe, Chazz Witherspoon. It wasn’t surprising to see Usyk win the bout, but it was alarming to see how long it took him to get the job done.
Many weren’t expecting Witherspoon to spend nearly as much time in the ring with the Gold Medal winning Usyk. Questions surrounding his power have surfaced, and for good reason. Usyk has never been known as a power puncher. Instead, many have been in awe of his boxing ability.
With the victory, Usyk holds firm to his mandatory position in the WBO sanctioning body. He now will await the winner between current unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr and former belt holder Anthony Joshua, as their rematch will take place in Saudi Arabia in early December.
While Usyk has already made it clear that he intends on fighting for a world championship in 2020, he does have his eyes on facing another belt holder in the division, WBC champion Deontay Wilder. In an interview previously taken, Usyk mentioned that of all the current Heavyweight belt holders that Lineal champion Tyson Fury would prove to be the most difficult challenge. Wilder on the other hand, would be the easiest.
The undefeated knockout artist heard the remarks made by Usyk but was unfazed by them.
“Oleksandr Usyk isn’t a threat to me. He’s too small for me,” said Wilder. “I mean, he does a lot of movement, and stuff like that, but that don’t faze me.”
A showdown between the two Heavyweight stars is sure to be one that would interest plenty of fans. The opinions surrounding who exactly would win that aforementioned contest is up in the air.
No matter who would win such a contest, it would surely be a back and forth close contest wouldn’t it? Maybe to fans on the outside looking in, but not to the unified Lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. He fully expects his countrymen and good friend Usyk to fully dominate that future matchup.
“He will school Deontay Wilder,” said Lomachenko.
Lomachenko did not mince words. Schooling Wilder seems a bit farfetched. He has yet to taste defeat in his 42 career contest and he hasn’t met a man that he wasn’t able to put down on the canvas. Usyk possesses a high pedigree in terms of his boxing ability, but his lack of power in his new division could be an issue. Wilder has proven, especially in his contest against both Fury and Luis Ortiz, that it doesn’t matter if his opponent is outboxing him for the majority of the contest. He can turn things around with a single punch.
With Usyk and Wilder now campaigning in the same division, the possibility of them sharing the ring to end the debate seems likely.