By Mike Smith: A big fight between Alexander Povetkin and Oleksander Usyk is in the works for May 18 in Chicago, Illinois on DAZN, according to Mike Coppinger. If this match gets made, this would be Usyk’s heavyweight debut after campaigning his entire six-year pro career at cruiserweight. Povetkin and Usyk are both Olympic gold medalists, highly skilled, and exciting to watch.
The Usyk-Povetkin negotiations still have a long ways to go, according to Coppinger, but there’s a good chance this fight will get made.
The southpaw Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) wants to challenge for a world title against Anthony Joshua as fast as possible to try and capture all the world titles as in lightning fashion, and then retire. Taking on Povetkin in his first fight at heavyweight could prove to be difficult. It wouldn’t be such a big deal for Usyk in terms of the size, as Povetkin is a small heavyweight, who is close to same size as Murat Gassiev. It’ll be harder for Usyk to out-box Povetkin compared to the mostly limited fighters that he’s beaten in the past at cruiserweight. Usyk hasn’t faced anyone with the same combination of boxing skills and power that Povetkin possesses. The best opponents that Usyk has fought as a pro are these guys: Tony Bellew, Murat Gassiev, Mairis Briedis, Michael Hunter, Krzysztof Glowacki, Thabiso Mchunu, and Marco Huck. Usyk didn’t fight a prime Huck or Bellew. Those guys were both past it by the time Usyk fought them.
The timing could be better for the 39-year-old Povetkin (32-2, 24 KOs), who is coming off of a seventh round knockout loss to IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Povetkin, a former World Boxing Association heavyweight belt holder, had his moment in the fight, hurting Joshua in the second round with a right hand to the head. The 6’6″ Joshua was able to get it together, and use his big four inch height, seven inch reach and 23 pound weight advantage to defeat the 6’2″ Povetkin. It was a fight that was essentially won on size alone. If the two had been the same size, it likely would have ended badly for Joshua.
Mike Coppinger said this on his Twitter about the Usyk vs. Povetkin fight:
“Oleksandr Usyk and Alexander Povetkin are in talks for a May 18 fight in Chicago on DAZN, but the sides are far apart at the moment. Still plenty of time to get a deal done, though. Usyk looking to make heavyweight debut.”
With Usyk vs. Povetkin being pegged for DAZN, it should bring in a lot of subscribers to the platform. It’s an interesting fight, and there will be a lot of hardcore boxing fans wanting to see it. However, it’s not a big enough match-up to get the casual boxing fans interested in paying $9.99 to see it on DAZN. Usyk needs to face an American fighter like WBC champion Deontay Wilder for him to get a lot of fans wanting to subscribe to see him fight.