Joe Joyce “Looks Forward” To Oleksandr Usyk Clash
By: Hans Themistode
Joe Joyce was happy as can be the moment he took down the highly touted heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois in late November last year. Coming into their showdown, Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) was given little to no chance of getting the job done. However, following a rough start, the British native forced Dubois to take a knee before ultimately stopping his man with a persistent jab which left his left orbital bone completely shattered.
Shortly after the win, Joyce saw his ranking in the WBO sanctioning body soar to number two in the world. With unified champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury currently deep in negotiations on a two-fight deal, Joyce could be forced to take on number one ranked contender Oleksandr Usyk for the WBO interim title.
While Joyce would love to face either Joshua or Fury instead, the former Olympic Silver medalist wouldn’t mind getting a bit of revenge against a man who schooled him on the amateur scene nearly a decade ago.
“Yeah definitely,” said Joyce to IFL TV when asked if he wants to face Usyk next. “I look forward to it. It was a great fight the first fight and the rematch is going to be even better. I think I picked up more skills along the way. I’ve been in the sport for a lot longer now. I think Usyk is putting a bit more weight on power-wise and I think it just has the makings of a great fight.”
In January of 2013, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) dominated Joyce during an amateur tournament, winning all five rounds on the night. In terms of excuses, Joyce made none as he admitted that Usyk was the better man. With that being said, Joyce believes he’s a completely different fighter now.
“It was all action for five rounds but I’ve picked up a lot of skills since then. Most importantly, he’s going to have to deal with me for 12 rounds, not five.”
The potential to score a bit of revenge is a driving factor for the heavyweight contender. But more than anything, Joyce is fully aware that a win over his amateur rival will place him in an ideal position moving forward.
“For the winner, they have a chance to potentially fight the winner of Fury vs AJ. There’s nothing bigger than fighting for the undisputed crown.”
Oleksandr Usyk vs Joe Joyce In “Preliminary Talks”
By: Hans Themistode
Oleksandr Usyk’s train to a heavyweight world title is apparently about to make an unexpected stop. The former undisputed cruiserweight titlist has long been awaiting his chance at facing unified champion, Anthony Joshua.
With a win in his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) followed that up with another victory against fringe contender Dereck Chisora. While both wins may have allowed him to get acclimated to fights against bigger men, considering he became the WBO’s number one ranked contender the moment he moved up in weight, Usyk never needed to face anyone other than Joshua in his first official contest as a heavyweight.
Still, the former Olympic gold medalist appeared on track to challenge Joshua for his world title. However, both Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury are on the verge of papering a two-fight deal, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. With the likelihood of Usyk waiting even longer for his shot at a world title, promoter Frank Warren is currently working on something that would placate the impatient big man.
“We’re working on, at the moment, Usyk and Joe Joyce,” said Warren during an interview with IFL TV. “I think the WBO will order that as an interim-title fight so we’re working hard to make that happen. The situation is that the WBO have said they’d like to do that fight as an eliminator. We have no objection to that and I don’t think Usyk has either. There’s been some preliminary talks and we’ll see where we go from there.”
Joyce, a 2016 Olympic Silver medalist, is currently riding the high associated with the biggest win of his pro career. On November 28th, just last year, Joyce handed highly-touted previously undefeated prospect Daniel Dubois the first defeat of his career via 10th round stoppage.
Despite the win, along with the success he’s obtained during his short career, Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) still has an ax to grind with Usyk. In January of 2013, before either man turned professional, they faced off at the World Series of Boxing. On the night, Usyk dominated his man winning every single round.
Regardless of their previous outcome, Warren views Joyce as a completely different fighter. In addition to that, the long time promoter believes the British native has all of the momentum in the world.
“It’s a good fight and based on his last performance, Joe’s looking really good. It puts the winner in a tremendous position. The eventual winner of the two fights between Tyson and AJ will have to defend against Joyce or Usyk, or vacate the belt.”
Alexander Krassyuk, manager Of Oleksandr Usyk, Expects Him To Challenge For A World Title This Spring
By: Hans Themistode
Oleksandr Usyk just can’t seem to process why there has been so much buzz surrounding the possibility of an undisputed heavyweight contest between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Mainly because he isn’t moving off his WBO mandated title shot.
“Usyk is the WBO mandatory,” said Alexander Krassyuk, the manager of Usyk. “ He never gave his consent for the [Joshua vs Fury] bout to happen without him.”
With a dominant run in the Cruiserweight division, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) recently made the move to the land of the heavies. The Ukrainian has found the much larger men that he’s now routinely facing to be far more challenging. On Halloween night last year, Usyk struggled mightily with the aggression and pressure of fringe contender Dereck Chisora.
Although it was a much more difficult fight than originally expected, Krassyuk isn’t expecting his man to be fighting for anything less than a world title in his next ring appearance.
“Usyk is in good condition now,” explained Krassyuk. “He successfully recovered from his last fight and looks forward to challenging for the title this spring.”
Fighting for a world title is one thing, but facing Anthony Joshua is something else entirely. For years now, Usyk has mentioned Joshua as one of his dream fights. Be that as it may, Joshua could be preoccupied with multiple contests against Tyson Fury.
At the moment, no one has officially offered team Usyk a step aside deal in order for Joshua vs Fury to take place with the undisputed crown on the line. While there have been discussions of placating the former Cruiserweight kingpin, Krassyuk simply hopes that his man’s title aspirations aren’t pushed to the side.
“There were talks about an interim title or the AJ vs Fury winner relinquishing the WBO title the next day [after they fight]. A non-title fight has never been under discussion and I really hope it will never be.”
Dereck Chisora On Oleksandr Usyk: “He’s Not A Scare In The Heavyweight Division”
By: Hans Themistode
Heavyweight contender Oleksandr Usyk has been built up to be some sort of monster. With the first five years of his career spent at the cruiserweight division, Usyk became known as not only a skillful boxer but also a belt collector.
Over the span of two years, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) captured every single world title in the cruiserweight division. His subsequent move up in weight has yet to bring him a world title but the results are all the same. Meaning, a tally in the win column.
While the victories continue to pile up, former Usyk opponent in Dereck Chisora doesn’t view him as the monster many depict him as. In fact, after taking several of his shots flush on the chin, the 37-year-old could only describe his opponent in one way.
“The guy can’t punch,” said Usyk to IFL TV during a recent interview. “To be honest, he’s not a scare in the heavyweight division. Physically he’s not strong. I ate one of his best shots and it didn’t bother me. His output is good but he has no power.”
Chisora’s criticism of Usyk doesn’t come from an outsider’s perspective but from first-hand experience. On October 31st, in Wembley Arena, Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) was given a crack at the former undisputed cruiserweight champion. Heading into their showdown, the prevailing thought surrounding their matchup was that Usyk would win a comfortable decision on the judge’s scorecards. However, the physicality of Chisora proved to be a much bigger issue as Usyk had difficulty adjusting to the British contender’s aggressive style.
Following 12 evenly fought rounds, Usyk managed to eke out a close decision victory. Unlike past defeats where Chisora would simply brush his shortcomings under the rug and move forward, the loss to Usyk is still something that visibly irritates him.
“All he did was run away. I was very disappointed. I thought we were in the professional game, not the amateurs. I pushed the fight, chased the fight, I did everything in the fight. All he did was run away.”
Despite Chisora placing Usyk towards the bottom of the barrel in terms of heavyweight contenders, the 37-year-old does believe that the former cruiserweight kingpin has one trick up his sleeve that will allow him to bank wins against the elite of the heavyweight division.
“With his movement, he would Dillian (Whyte). He would beat Joe Joyce. It’s his movement. If you’re not prepared for that movement then he’s going to walk all over you. He doesn’t have much power but if you don’t prepare for the movement then it’s going to be a long night for you.”
Oleksandr Usyk, Not Tyson Fury, Should Be Next For Anthony Joshua
By: Hans Themistode
It’s the sexy matchup. The one that everyone talks about and quite frankly, it makes a ton of sense.
The first trip to the canvas allowed boxing fans to crack a slight smile. The second and third brought about a full grin. As unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua landed the finishing blow on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, fans across the world screamed in excitement before his 39-year-old body hit the canvas. It wasn’t just because Joshua’s one-punch knockout was captivating, but more so because of what it signified. An undisputed title fight with fellow champion Tyson Fury.
Not since Lennox Lewis’s 1999 win over Evander Holyfield has there been an undisputed heavyweight champion. By all accounts, both Joshua and Fury not only want the fight but are begging for it to happen next. With Pulev sitting in an emergency room concussed and former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder on the outside looking in, both Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum, their respective promoters, have stated that they will sit down to talk immediately about putting together a two-fight deal.
But while Joshua, Fury, Hearn and Arum open the doors to begin negotiations, a six feet four inch, one-time Olympic gold medalist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion in Oleksandr Usyk stands in the way.
In the land of the heavy hitters, Usyk’s defensive/box first style has never appeared to be a true fit. During his brief time as a cruiserweight, Usyk could get away with outboxing his man and racking up the points on the judge’s scorecards as opposed to ending things with one deleterious blow. Yet, with wins over Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellow – there was nothing left for him to do. His waist and shoulders were draped in cruiserweight gold. But the challenges were few and far between.
With nothing more to prove, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) moved up to the heavyweight division. A place where fighters often stomp and announce their presence demonstratively. For Usyk however, he tiptoed through and made his mark in a much different way.
In October of 2018, Usyk officially made his debut, pitty patting late replacement Chazz Witherspoon before ultimately stopping him in the seventh. Roughly one year later, Usyk would return to the ring yet again. This time against fringe contender Dereck Chisora. Unable to make a dent in his man, Usyk would settle for a close decision victory.
Criticism of his power has been the narrative surrounding his heavyweight ventures. No one wants to watch a big man dance around his opponent, make him miss, potshot him, wash and repeat for 12 rounds before cruising to a win on the judge’s scorecards. There has always been one theme when discussing heavyweight boxing.
One punch can end it all.
That of course, doesn’t apply to Usyk. Still, his shot at a world title was earned with his work one weight class lower. But with year number three approaching on his heavyweight trip, the soon to be 34-year-old is still awaiting his shot at a world title. Something that should have been granted to him the moment he landed in his new division.
Like any weight class, once a champion vacates his titles in favor of moving up in weight, said fighter will receive a high placement in the sanctioning bodies of his new home. In the case of the WBO, former champions in one weight class are immediately granted a world title opportunity. Nonetheless, a combination of injuries and a worldwide pandemic has forced him to wait.
In numerous conversations with Usyk over the years, the former Olympic gold medalist has dreamed of becoming a world champion in the heavyweight division. Yet, with both Fury and Joshua only one win away from achieving undisputed status, Usyk has been pushed to the side and forgotten.
Let’s be clear, a showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for all of the heavyweight marbles is salient. But to Usyk, it’s inconsequential.
The sound of a pen scribbling across sheets of paper can be heard from boxing fans as a two-fight deal is currently being hammered out between Hearn and Arum. It would be fairly easy for Joshua to vacate his WBO world title, face Fury and the winner to eventually circle back to face Usyk at a later date. With that being said, it isn’t what the Ukrainian wants, nor is it what he deserves.
There’s something to be said for a fighter that has won at every level. From Olympic glory to championship status in the pro’s Usyk has done it all. For fans at home though, they could care less. Simply stand to the side and allow the British stars to settle the debate of who is the best in the world. Any discussion that does not revolve around a mega showdown involving Joshua and Fury will be met with complete fulmination.
To Usyk however, their complaints will draw the same creepy smile he has flashed at his opponents just before dismantling them. The sexy fight, the popular fight and the significant fight is Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury. But Oleksandr Usyk has earned his shot at Anthony Joshua first.
Oleksandr Usyk Gives Anthony Joshua Two Choices: “Either He Fights Me Or He Relinquishes”
By: Hans Themistode
The questions surrounding Oleksandr Usyk and his run in the heavyweight division are slowly being answered. The former undisputed cruiserweight champion survived a few rough moments early on against fringe contender Dereck Chisora before dancing his way to the finish line this past Saturday night.
Usyk, 33, may have had the advantage in terms of skills, but with his opponent carrying with him a near 40 pound weight advantage into the ring, many wondered how the Ukrainian product would react to a much bigger and stronger man.
However, following a unanimous decision victory, Usyk gave no mention to Chisora’s physical advantages. Instead, he was more so exasperated over what he believes were dirty tactics.
“Dereck was a huge test for me,” said Usyk during a post fight interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “He did so many low blows, elbows and hits to the back of the head but it really made me stronger.”
With a mandatory title challenge already guaranteed to him, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) was never interested in facing Chisora to begin with. Yet, with unified champion Anthony Joshua already married to a title defense against Kubrat Pulev, the Ukrainian risked his mandated title shot in order to keep off the ring rust.
For Joshua, he’s expressed an interest in facing Usyk, but he’s also made it clear that after he takes care of business against Pulev on December 12th, he would much rather unify titles against Tyson Fury. The winner of their highly anticipated matchup would be crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000.
Despite the historical significance, Usyk has no intention of sitting on the sidelines.
“I am the mandatory for Anthony Joshua so he has two options. One, to fight me, the other one is to vacate and fight Tyson Fury. Either he fights me or he relinquishes.”
The normally active former Cruiserweight kingpin has been the exact opposite over the past two years. With a number of injuries and a worldwide pandemic slowing down his action in the ring, his contest against Chisora was only his second in two years.
The rust was evident as he appeared uncomfortable early on. With that being said, Usyk believes that the best is yet to come.
“I feel like I can do better. I didn’t box for a year so it took me a little while to warm up. We definitely will do much better in the future.”
Oleksandr Usyk Dances His Way To Unanimous Decision Victory Over Dereck Chisora
By: Hans Themistode
The skills of Oleksandr Usyk were never in question, but coming up from a cruiserweight division in which he dominated, his size was.
A one sided beatdown of fringe contender Chazz Witherspoon did little to answer any questions regarding his standing in the heavyweight division late last year. But after a decision win over bonafide contender Dereck Chisora, the Ukrainian product answered those questions tonight.
After months of cancelations due to both injuries and a worldwide pandemic, Usyk and Chisora finally entered the ring against one another. The game plan was simple for both men.
For Chisora, he wanted to turn things into a bar fight. Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) on the other hand, wanted to steer clear of the big bombs that would be heading his way and box.
Things couldn’t have started any better for the British native. He came barreling straight ahead from the opening bell and placed nonstop pressure on his man. Not many of his shots landed but it was clear that Usyk wasn’t exactly having fun in there.
However, with the first three rounds going how he wanted, Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) seemingly ran out of steam. He backed off his consistent pressure and instead appeared content with plodding forward while throwing one shot at a time.
The change in both his game plan and stamina, turned the tide in favor of Usyk. The former undisputed cruiserweight titlist began finding his rhythm as his shots appeared to be ubiquitous.
As the rounds ticked by, it was becoming more and more obvious that Usyk was the fresher man and the more polished boxer. Chisora, to his credit, never gave in no matter how many times his head snapped back due to a right, left combination from Usyk.
During the championship rounds, Chisora appeared to have nothing left. The big shots were thrown far and few between and he essentially became a sitting duck for his opponents offense.
The British product walked slowly out of his corner in the final round, while Usyk appeared to be just fine. As the bell rang to signal the end of their contest, a dejected Chisora had no interest in shaking the out stretched hand of his opponent. Usyk though, sauntered around the ring with his hand raised while screaming inside of the empty Wembley arena.
As the two waited on the final word coming from the judges scorecards, unified champion Anthony Joshua was seen taking in the view from ringside.
A few moments later, the official decision was announced. One judge scoring the bout had it 117-112 while the remaining two had it much closer at 115-113, all in favor of Usyk.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Dereck Chisora: Fight Preview
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.”
Dereck Chisora On Oleksandr Usyk Clash: “I Am Not Going To Lose”
By: Hans Themistode
Dereck Chisora has made a career out of bad mouthing his opponents and getting into physical confrontations before he steps foot inside of the ring. During a 2012 build up to his heavyweight showdown with David Haye, Chisora got under the skin of his opponent on several occasions. So much so, that Haye landed numerous punches on his man during a heated face off several months before their contests took place.
Fast forward a few years later and Chisora was seen picking up a table and throwing it at the head of his opponent in Dillian Whyte during their press conference.
Yet, when it comes to his matchup with former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on October 31st, Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) can’t help but to like him as both a fighter and a person.
“We like the same things,” said Chisora during a recent interview with Sky Sports Boxing. “We both like cars and were both family men so I like him, I’m a big fan. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s an unbelievable fighter man, he’s amazing.”
Much of the two heavyweight contenders build up has been spent smiling and taking pictures with one another, while also calling out each other out in jest. Regardless of the friendly interactions between the two though, Chisora plans on pushing all of that to the side the moment the opening bell rings.
“I’m going to go through this man. The way I’m going to come for him is going to be unbelievable. I am not going to lose that fight, I am going all out.”
A win for the 36 year old British native could see his career long chase to win a world title finally come to an end.
With Usyk currently occupying the number one position in the WBO sanctioning body, team Chisora has petitioned for their man to replace him should he win their contest this Saturday night. Currently, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua holds the WBO title in his possession as well as the WBA and IBF titles.
While it’s unknown if Chisora would vault up from his number eight ranking to number one with a win, the former title challenger wouldn’t necessarily be interested in taking on Joshua. Instead, he has his eyes set on someone else entirely.
“I think it would be a great fight to have with the Gypsy King Tyson Fury. We speak every day and he owes me that fight. He’s always telling me that he wants to give me that fight. He’s a man of his word, so that is the fight I would like to have.”
After two losses to Fury in 2011 and 2014 respectively, Chisora’s third crack at the WBC/Lineal heavyweight titlist hinges on the performance he puts on this weekend against Usyk.
Fighting for world titles is something he welcomes. So is fighting to give his fans a memorable night of boxing. But more than anything, Chisora wants to make the man in the mirror proud.
“I don’t want to let myself down, nothing else. I want it more than anyone.”
David Haye Backs Chisora Against Usyk: “It’s About Size And Weight, He’s Going To Cause An Upset”
By: Hans Themistode
Most have been waiting to see how former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will do when he’s matched up against Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
Usyk of course, has a legit threat in front of him when he takes on Dereck Chisora on October 31st. But for the most part, many are expecting him to push Usyk, but not necessarily win.
Currently, co-promoter of Chisora and former opponent in David Haye agree’s that on paper, his man doesn’t have a chance. But that’s only on paper.
“If you look at his record and what he has done as an amateur, Olympic gold medalist, undisputed and won every single belt there is to win,” said Haye to Sky Sports Boxing. “He’s done it all. Dereck on the other hand, has lost nine fights. If you look at Dereck’s record against Usyk’s, then it’s like well it’s going to be only one winner.”
Amongst those nine losses were a few head scratching one’s. In late 2017, Chisora came up short via majority decision to the unheralded Agit Kabayel. He also loss to fringe contender Robert Helenius earlier in his career. Pair those losses with several others against the divisions best over the years and it’s safe to say that Chisora has placed himself as a top ten contender, but someone who has failed to get over the hump.
Usyk on the other hand, looked incredible in the Cruiserweight division and looks to be a possible star in his new weight class. Yet, while Haye believes Usyk was able to dance around his opponents in the past, he’ll find the much larger men in the heavyweight division much more difficult to navigate around.
“What Usyk doesn’t understand is that the heavyweight division is very different compared to every other division in boxing. It’s about size and weight. It takes one shot to turn the tide, ask Povetkin.”
Arguably no one in the sport of boxing this year better illustrates just how fast things can change in the ring.
In late August earlier this year, Alexander Povetkin was on the wrong end of a one sided beating at the hands of Dillian Whyte. Povetkin, 41, was dropped twice in the fourth round and appeared to be on his way to a stoppage loss. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, Povetkin landed a left uppercut that turned off Whyte’s light’s way before his head bounced off the canvas.
Going into that contest, Povetkin was a heavy underdog but upset the odds.
Now, Haye is expecting Chisora to do the same.
“He’s going to cause an upset and shock so many people. He knows this is his last chance.”
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!”