Oleksandr Usyk: Making history at cruiserweight
Current undefeated WBO and WBC World Jr. Heavyweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk (14-0-0), 11 by way of Knockout, is on the verge of making history as he faces WBA and IBF Jr. Heavyweight Champion Murat Gassiev, for the Jr. Heavyweight Unification Championship Title Bout in the World Boxing Super Series tournament finale, to be held on May 11th 2018, at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The stage is set as the Ukrainian fighter seeks to become the first ever undisputed Jr. Heavyweight Champion of the world to hold all titles simultaneously. Let’s highlight the amateur and professional accomplishments thus far, from WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion superstar.
Oleksandr Usyk was born in Simferopol, Crimean Oblast, Ukraine. At the age of 15, he used to practice association football and trained at the SC Tavriya Simferopol specialized sports school of Olympic reserve. By the year 2002, Usyk transitioned to the sport of boxing standing out within the amateur field. In 2006, Usyk won a bronze medal in the Middleweight division at the European World Championships held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. In 2008, Usyk move to the Light Heavyweight division winning the Strandja Cup also held in Bulgaria. That same year Usyk participated at the Summer Olympics Games held in Beijing, China and won gold medal in the Light Heavyweight division at the European Amateur Boxing Championships held in Liverpool, England.
The Ukrainian fighter continued his successful amateur career, as Usyk moved to the Jr. Heavyweight division and won a silver medal at the Boxing World Cup held in Moscow, Russia in 2009. He then earned bronze medal the same year at the World Amateur Championships held in Milan, Italy; On 2011, Usyk won a gold medal at the World Amateur Championships held in Baku, Azerbaijan; followed by a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in London, Great Britain.
By 2013, Oleksandr Usyk turned professional signing with K2 Promotions and officially debuted in the Jr. Heavyweight Division on November 9th 2013, defeating Felipe Romero via KO in round five held at the Sports Palace, Kiev, Ukraine. On October 14th 2014, in just his fifth professional bout, Usyk challenged WBO Jr. Heavyweight Intercontinental Champion Daniel Brewer, winning by TKO in round seven, held at the Arena Lviv Stadium, Lviv, Ukraine. The newly crowned WBO Jr. Heavyweight Intercontinental Champion defended his title successfully on four occasions winning each bout by TKO. By 2017, Usyk raised the bar within his team recruiting highly acclaimed trainer Anatoly Lomachenko, father of the two-time Olympic gold medalist and current WBO World Jr. Lightweight Champion and pound per pound fighter of the world, Vasyl Lomachenko. Oleksandr Usyk also added 2017 “Manager of The Year” Mr. Egis Klimas.
With only 9 professional fights, Usyk challenged undefeated WBO World Jr. Heavyweight Champion Krzysztof Glowacki, on September 9th 2017, at the Ergo Arena, Plac Dwóch, Poland. By way of unanimous decision, the Ukrainian fighter won WBO World Jr. Heavyweight Championship title. Such accomplishment draw attention from boxing experts who considered the former Olympian standout as a threat in the Jr. Heavyweight division. Subsequently, Usyk defended successfully his WBO World Jr. Heavyweight World Title against a respectable opposition of former world champions.
On July 1st 2017, Oleksandr Usyk joined the World Boxing Super Series Jr. The Heavyweight tournament, defending his WBO World Jr. Heavyweight Title against former WBO World Jr. Heavyweight Champion Marco Huck (40-4-1) in the quarterfinals. Usyk’s superb footwork and punching combination overwhelmed the former WBO champion who eventually lost via TKO to the Ukrainian fighter. Consequently, Usyk qualified to the semi-finals and faced undefeated (23-0-0) WBC Jr. Heavyweight Champion Mairis Briedis in a unification championship bout held on January 27th 2018, at the Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia. In an action-packed fight, Oleksandr Usyk won by unanimous decision and unified the WBO and WBC Jr. Heavyweight Championship.
The World Boxing Super Series Jr. Heavyweight tournament finale is set, and all titles are at stake as WBO/WBC Jr. Heavyweight Champion Oleksandr Usyk faces undefeated IBF/WBA Jr. Heavyweight Champion Murat Gassiev (26-0-0) in a highly anticipated Jr. Heavyweight matchup. History will be written as the winner will reach a milestone becoming the first ever Undisputed Jr. Heavyweight Champion of the World, to hold all titles from the four major boxing organizations. Could the outcome pave the way for the Heavyweight Division? Watch and see! May the best man win!