Eddie Hearn working on Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora for February
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is working on putting a fight together between his Matchroom heavyweights Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora. Hearn says Joseph Parker is an option for Chisora if he can’t make the Usyk-Chisora fight.
Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) will absolutely be fighting in February at the O2 Arena or Manchester Arena, be it against Usyk or Parker. Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) vs. Chisora is the fight that Hearn wants to make the most of all, since that would be a huge fight in the UK, and it would resonate in the U.S as well.
There would be less interest in a Chisora-Parker fight for obvious reasons. Parker (26-2, 20 KOs) has lost 2 out of his last 4 fights, and he hasn’t fought anyone good since his loss to Dillian Whyte last year in July.
Usyk wants to face Chisora to stay active
Hearn says Usyk, 32, wants to get another fight in before he challenges for the WBO heavyweight title against the winner of the Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch. Usyk has fought only once in the last year, and that was against a low level opponent in 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon last October.
Although Usyk won by a 7th round stoppage, he didn’t impress, and he was badly marked up by the painfully slow, and overweight looking Witherspoon. Usyk is the WBO mandatory, and he doesn’t want to sit and wait six months before he fights again.
“I’m trying to work on Chisora-Usyk, and obviously you have Chisora-Parker as well,” said Hearn to IFL TV in discussing the negotiations between Usyk and Chisora. “It’s very likely Dereck Chisora will fight in February in Manchester. At the moment, there’s the WBO and IBF, both have got mandatories for the winner of Joshua-Ruiz.
“So generally in that situation, the two governing bodies will get together and decide which mandatory comes first, which is the IBF. In a lot of cases, a governing body will say, ‘No, ours is first,’ and then you’ve got to vacate a belt. They’re talking at the moment, but what I think is Usyk is thinking, ‘I don’t want to wait around until next summer. I want to fight again,'” said Hearn.
It’s brave of the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk to want to risk his WBO mandatory position against Chisora. If Usyk loses that fight, then he won’t be the WBO mandatory for the Joshua-Ruiz 2 winner. Some boxing fans think Usyk will easily beat Chisora, but he doesn’t look like he’s cut out for heavyweight. Chisora is a real heavyweight.
Hearn excited about Usyk vs. Chisora fight
“He had nearly a year out, and he fought seven rounds against [Chazz] Witherspoon,” said Hearn. “He likes the Chisora fight, and Chisora is up for fighting Usyk. I think it’s a really good fight.”
This fight will at least show whether Usyk has a future at heavyweight, because right now there are question marks. Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis raised that point after Usyk’s performance against Witherspoon. He didn’t show the type of talent that you would expect from a guy ranked #1 by the WBO.
Usyk doesn’t possess power for the heavyweight division, and he’s not fast. He’s the complete opposite of Evander Holyfield, who moved up from cruiserweight to heavyweight with the power to compete against the bigger guys. Usyk doesn’t possess the talent that Holyfield had when he moved up in weight.
Dillian Whyte’s next fight 70% done
“It’s done. Hopefully, we get it done this weekend,” said Hearn about whether he’s found an opponent for Dillian Whyte’s next fight. “It’s 70% done.”
Heavyweight Dillian Whyte will be fighting on the Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 card in Saudi Arabia on December 7. No names have been mentioned by Hearn for Whyte, but it’ll likely be someone that hardcore boxing fans are familiar with. Hearn can’t put a horrible opponent in with Whyte without inviting criticism from fans.