Usyk NOT in hurry to face Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 winner – welcomes Chisora fight
By Tim Royner: Oleksandr Usyk ISN’T chomping at the bit to fight the winner of the December 7th rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. Despite being the WBO mandatory, Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) isn’t pushing for his next fight to be against the Joshua-Ruiz 2 winner.
Oleksander Usyk working on adding mass
Usyk is reportedly trying to BULK up his frame from the 215 lbs that he weighed in for his recent heavyweight debut. He clearly needs to put on size on before he takes on Joshua or Ruiz, being that he doesn’t have the bulk to compete against those 240+ lb heavyweights.
Usyk is still roughly the same weight that he was at when he fought in the cruiserweight division from 2012 to 2018, and he’s not big enough to compete at heavyweight.
Usyk wants Chisora fight while he waits on Joshua-Ruiz outcome
“I’m not in a hurry, let them fight. I would be happy to fight Chisora or somebody else.,” said Usyk to Matchroom Boxing. “He’s grown up a lot since his fight with Klitschko. He’s not hitting anybody at a press conference and not spitting on anybody.”
“I don’t think about it at all. I just want to go to the fight, and after the fight we can talk about it,” said Usyk when asked his opinion on the Joshua vs. Ruiz rematch.
The former unified cruiserweight world champion Usyk is content to face fringe contender Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) in his next contest, which is being negotiated by promoter Eddie Hearn for February. The soon to be 33-year-old Usyk isn’t saying WHY he’s not in a rush to face the winner of the Joshua vs. Ruiz fight, but it likely has to do with his recent heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherpoon last October.
Usyk looked weak, slow, and not the dominating fighter he’d been in the cruiserweight division.
Some boxing fans think Usyk will easily beat Chisora, but that might not be the case. If Chisora is able to stick around long enough to land some of his big shots to the head of Usyk, he might beat him, and take his WBO mandatory spot. You can’t rule out a win on Chisora’s part going off of how Usyk looked against Witherspoon.
Witherspoon fight wasn’t long enough – Usyk
“I felt very good, but it was not enough,” said Usyk about how he felt in his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon last October. “I wanted to feel a little bit longer, and that’s what happened,” said Usyk.
It would have helped if Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn hadn’t selected an out of shape old guy in Witherspoon for Usyk to fight, because it was clear that he wasn’t going to be tested. If Usyk wanted a longer fight, he should have been assertive with Hearn, and insisted on a better opponent for his heavyweight debut.
At this stage in Usyk’s career, he has enough pull for him to turn down opponents that Hearn is offering him. He doesn’t agree to every guy that Hearn throws out there for him to fight, because if he does that, might not improve. Hearn matched Joshua against weak opponents through much of his career, and we saw what happened to him when he tried stepping him up against Ruiz.
Usyk’s manager says Hearn working on Chisora negotiations
“No, I can’t because I’m not negotiating. Eddie Hearn is the promoter, and I can’t say anything because I don’t know the details,” said Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas when asked about the progress of the negotiations with Chisora for February. “Yes, that’s a fight that we would like, yes.”
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is upbeat about the Usyk vs. Chisora fight happening in February. It’s a fight that Usyk needs before he can face the likes of Ruiz Jr. or Joshua, due to his recent match against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon not being a good match-up. Hearn chose to put Usyk in with a guy that had been retired for a number of years, and that had come back too long ago.
Hearn could have matched Usyk better to prepare him to fight fight the winner of the Joshua-Ruiz 2 fight, but he chose to put him in a safe bout. Usyk was wise enough to recognize that he needed to face someone decent to help him progress at heavyweight. There’s obviously far better fighters than Chisora in the heavyweight division, but Hearn and Usyk aren’t going to risk his WBO mandatory status against a quality guy.
Hearn: “Size was an issue” for Usyk against Witherspoon
“I was just backstage talking to Usyk, trying to get the Chisora fight over the finish line in February. That’s a big heavyweight fight,” said Hearn.
“Usyk is now established as a big star in the UK. I think after the [Chazz] Witherspoon fight, he felt like he needed to put some more mass on. Will that slow him down, and will that increase his power? Size was an issue [for Usyk in Witherspoon fight]. He got a couple on the arm, and a mouse under the eye, where you start thinking, ‘this is a different game.'”
It would be better if Hearn matched Usyk against one of these heavyweights:
- Dillian Whyte
- Oscar Rivas
- Joseph Parker
- Adam Kownacki
- Daniel Dubois
- Filip Hrgovic
Some of those fighters might actually beat the 6’3″ Usyk, and obviously that’s not what he and his management wants. So there was never going to be any chance of Usyk being put in with someone like Whyte, Hrgovic, Dubois or Parker.