Oleksandr Usyk Unafraid of Dereck Chisora’s Pressure Style
By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora isn’t what you would call a skilled fighter. He doesn’t look to out box his opponents. Nor does he attempt to stay on the outside and counter. No, what’s led Chisora to the 32 victories in his career has been brute force and power.
The former Heavyweight title challenger lumbers forward during his contests and doesn’t mind eating a few shots in order to land a few of his own. Well, as the expression goes, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. And with three straight victories under his belt since a stoppage loss at the hands of Dillian Whyte in 2018, Chisora seems to have found the winning recipe. Now, he hopes to add the biggest win to his resume when he takes on former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Unlike in his Heavyweight debut that came against Chazz Witherspoon in October of 2019, Usyk isn’t anticipating an easy night. In your face pressure is to be expected. But throwing a ton of shots is one thing, hitting the target however, is something else entirely.
“Normally I face this kind of plan, every fight,” Usyk told Sky Sports. “If you want to hit the target, you need to see the target. He can throw as much punches as you can, but you need to land them into the target.”
It’s seldom that a fighter will admit that they are going to be elusive on fight night. Instead, they usually puff out their chest and give off a false bravado of how they are ready to bang it out in the center of the ring.
Not Usyk though. But even with the former Cruiserweight champ having a seemingly bulletproof game plan, Chisora still has something up his sleeve.
“I’m going to focus on what I do,” said Chisora during their press conference. “I’m going to focus by going in the ring, and start looking for my man, and that’s it. He’s going to dance around, but we’ve got certain things we’ve been practicing on. Things we’ve been doing every day. It will pay off.”
Even with a Gold medal in his possession from the 2012 Olympics coupled with world titles in the Cruiserweight ranks, Usyk finds himself a bit starstruck. He’s been all around the world and faced countless world champions, but nothing compares to his upcoming fight against Dereck Chisora.
“When I was an amateur, I was watching his fights as a heavyweight, with Klitschko, David Haye, and I was thinking ‘wow’, such great guys somewhere far away. Now I’m going to box one of those great guys myself.”
Both Usyk and Chisora were originally scheduled to trade shots on May 23rd at the O2 Arena. But due to COVID-19, it is now expected to take place sometime in July.
Artur Beterbiev Was Interested in Usyk Showdown: “We Have History”
By: Hans Themistode
Artur Beterbiev has a lot of options on the table. The unified Light Heavyweight champion is fresh off a win against Oleksandr Gvozdyk and is the clear cut choice when choosing the best fighter in the division. Fights against WBA belt holder Dmitry Bivol and Gilberto Ramirez make a ton of sense. Even a contest with Canelo Alvarez, albeit unlikely, could be in his immediate future.
Although Beterbiev wants all of those aforementioned names, a matchup with former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, is the one he wanted the most.
“I had a purely sporting interest in being able to box with Usyk when he became the absolute champion [at cruiserweight],” Beterbiev said to Tass.
“I was in the process of negotiating a contract with both Top Rank and Matchroom Boxing. The proposals from each were almost the same. I told my managers that if Eddie Hearn (head of Matchroom Boxing) guarantees me a fight in the cruiserweight division with Usyk, then I will sign a contract with them. They took their time, but there were no answers from them.”
Oleksandr Usyk vs Artur Beterbiev on paper looks like a great matchup. But it doesn’t exactly fit. The two competed in divisions that are separated by 25 pounds and never seemed to be on a collision course. Yet, even while the two undefeated fighters never seemed like a perfect pairing, it turns out that they were actually made for one another.
Before both men cruised through their respective divisions, they ran right through the amateur scene. Usyk ended his unpaid career at 335-15, while Beterbiev finished off with an even better record at 295-5. But while Beterbiev had the edge in terms of record, Usyk got the last laugh when they met in 2011 and 2012. During their first go round, Beterbiev dropped Usyk with a body shot at the World Championships. Usyk shook it off and grabbed the victory. In the 2012 Olympics they met again. And just like their first matchup, Usyk squeaked by with a decision before winning gold.
Their rivalry might be nearly a decade old, but Beterbiev hasn’t forgotten anything.
“Maybe they were not interested, but I had a purely competitive interest [to fight Usyk]. We [me and Usyk] have history.”
David Haye: “Usyk Has Miscalculated How Good Chisora is”
By: Hans Themistode
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and David Haye currently has someone who is looking to follow in his footsteps. Somewhat.
From 2007-2009, Haye went from a unified Cruiserweight titlist to the WBA Heavyweight champion of the world. His reign at the Heavyweight division didn’t last long thanks to Wladimir Klitschko, but he had an impressive run nevertheless. Now, one decade later Oleksandr Usyk looks to do the same.
Usyk, an Olympic gold medalist, will look to jump right into the deep end when he takes on perpetual Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora. A walk in the park for the man that looked almost unbeatable at the Cruiserweight division, but Haye believes Chisora is about to turn out the best performance of his career.
“He’s ranked in every boxing expert’s top five pound-for-pound fighters,” said Haye to Talk Sports. “He’s an Olympic champion, he’s never ever lost a boxing match before, he was the undisputed cruiserweight champion – he’s the man. The most skilled smaller heavyweight out there. Derek Chisora has lost nine fights. Many people think he’s passed his prime. But believe me he was having a run in training camp like I’ve never seen him before. The sparring, the physical side of things.”
No matter how many times Haye heaps praise in the direction of Chisora, the nine losses on his resume speaks volumes. Matchups against Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury, Vitali Klitschko and others tell a story of a fighter that has trouble winning the big one. But that was the old undisciplined and lazy Chisora. This new version is a real contender. At least according to Haye.
“Derek is in a good place. The fight date he’s been working towards has been postponed. Usyk is in training and we can see from his social media that he is ticking over in the Ukraine.”
“He’s got on his discipline, he’s eating the right food, he’s sleeping the right times, he’s not doing all of the things he did in the past that culminated in him losing those nine fights. He shouldn’t have lost all of those fights. A lot of the time he wasn’t in the best physical condition, the right mind-set, but he is now. I think Usyk has miscalculated how good Chisora is. He doesn’t realize how strong he is. He’s like a bull, he’s absolutely rock-solid, and he’s still training now.”
As far as when the two could meet in the ring, that is yet to be determined due to COVID-19. But there is a chance that face one another in an empty arena. Whether their contest takes place in front of a packed house or no one at all, a win over Chisora will place him at the head of line in terms of a title shot.
Dereck Chisora Thinks “This Will Be The Hardest Fight I’ve Ever Had” Against Oleksandr Usyk
By: Hans Themistode
Dereck Chisora has built a name for himself over the years.
He’s been known as a brash, loud mouthed Heavyweight contender. For as much as his fans love him, his personality has rubbed just about everyone that he has stepped inside of the ring with the wrong way.
Calling him a jerk would be somewhat of a compliment as most of his opponents would describe him as an asshole.
Just take a look at his long history of stirring up controversy.
Chisora’s 2016, press conference for his first match against Dillian Whyte quickly turned into a WWE contest as he hurled a table right at his opponents head. In 2019, Chisora went back and forth with Regis Prograis regarding who should be headlining the October 26th, show. That doesn’t sound like much of an issue right? Well, when you consider that Chisora outweighs his man by roughly 100 pounds, then you’ll quickly see the problem.
How about his 2012 contest with David Haye? Most fighters who decide to get into shouting matches with their opponents usually keep their hands to themselves. Yet in this case, both men got the fight going early.
To sum it all up, Chisora has a way of getting under the skin of his opponents.
So now that he has officially signed up to fight former Cruiserweight contender Oleksandr Usyk at the O2 Arena, Chisora has been surprisingly nice. Maybe a little too nice.
“He’s a funny guy, he loves life, he likes everything,” said Chisora during a recent press conference. “He’s a boy’s boy. He’s cool. I can’t really say anything bad about this man. He’s done so much in four years. He’s done great for himself. He’s amazing, I’m a big fan of his.”
This is pretty new. Chisora has never been known as the sort of fighter to be so complimentary. But after a few minutes went by during the conference, we quickly found out why.
“It’s going to be hard, I’m not going to lie to you. I think this fight will be the hardest fight I’ve ever had. Not because the guy hasn’t got power, but because of the accuracy of his punches and the way he chucks them. When he chucks them he’s unbelievable.”
Vitali Klitschko, David Haye, Kubrat Pulev, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte are amongst the long list of champions and top tier contenders that have stepped into the ring with Chisora. So what makes the former undisputed Cruiserweight champion different from the rest?
“He’s going to be dancing bro. He’s going to be dancing. Where can you get guys who can be sparring like him? Nowhere. The guy is a dancer. He’s going to dance. I’m already taking dancing lessons. The guy is going to be on fire, man. I’m going to have to eat leather, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to eat leather. I’m probably going to take five before I get one in there, but it is what it is. I eat that shit for breakfast. The hunger remains and the dedication is the same.”
Oleksandr Usyk vs Dereck Chisora Officially Taking Place May 23rd
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!”