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Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora on May 23 at O2 Arena, London

Aleksandr Usyk Derek Chisora

By Dean Berman: Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora will be fighting on May 23 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that he spoke with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn on the details.

A lot of fans interested in seeing Usyk and Chisora fight each other. It’s a big step up for Usyk from the 38-year-old Chaz Witherspoon that he beat in his heavyweight debut last October. If Usyk beats Chisora in a convincing fashion, he’ll show that he rates to be fighting for a world title.

Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) is risking his WBO mandatory position in facing Chisora, as but he’s got little choice. IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) has his IBF mandatory due against Kubrat Pulev, and Hearn is hoping that he can set-up a fight between AJ and WBC champion Tyson Fury either in the summer or the end of the year.

With Joshua’s busy schedule, Usyk won’t get his mandated title shot until 2021, and he can’t just sit around fighting old-timers like Witherspoon.  Usyk has to fight at least semi-decent heavyweights, and the 36-year-old Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) fits that description.

Chisora has put together a nice three-fight winning streak since his 11th round knockout loss to Dillian Whyte in December 2018. In Dereck’s last three bouts, he’s beaten these guys:

  • David Price
  • Senad Gashi
  • Artur Szpilka

Szpilka (23-4, 16 KOs) is a former world title challenger, but his career has evaporated since he was knocked unconscious in a 9th round KO by former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in 2016. Chisora beating Szpilka (23-4, 16 KOs) was a nothing win that showed little. The same goes for Chisora’s win in his last fight against David Price, who he stopped in the 4th round last October at the O2 in London.

Surprisingly, British boxing fans still want to see fights like Chisora vs. Price for some reason. Those same fans will be excited to see Chisora step up against a real top tier heavyweight in Usyk, even though he’s totally unproven.

Usyk is a former unified cruiserweight world champion, but he won his titles against weak opposition that you can’t compare with the top heavyweights. So whatever Usyk did at cruiserweight is meaningless. You have to see Usyk as someone with an empty slate, who has yet to beat anyone that would be able to compete at heavyweight. In Usyk’s fight against Tony Bellew

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk gave up on the cruiserweight division because he wants to go after the bigger names at heavyweight. He wants to capture all the world titles at heavyweight against Joshua and WBC champion Tyson Fury. At 6’3″, 215 lbs, it’s going to be tough for Usyk to accomplish that goal, because he’s a finesse fighter with little in the way of size. Usyk can’t do what Tyson Fury did recently in bulking up to crush one of the champions, s cine he doesn’t possess the height or each.


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