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Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora to be announced this week for May 23

Aleksandr Usyk Derek Chisora

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says there may be a news conference this week to formally announce the May 23 between Oleksander Usyk and Dereck Chisora for May 23 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Hearn is predicting that the Usyk-Chisora fight will be well received by the boxing public, and it will create a massive stir.


The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) is making his second fight at heavyweight, and this is a far more dangerous opponent than his previous fight against Chazz Witherspoon.

The former world title challenger Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) is a huge puncher, and he’ll be trying to KO Usyk with every shot. This is a fight where Usyk can lose or look really bad in winning, and that’s what he can’t afford.

The fight is a DONE deal for the 23rd of May on Sky Sports, and it just needs an official announcement to the boxing public.

Hearn: Usyk vs. Chisora is “MONSTROUS” fight

“You may see a press conference this week as well,” said Hearn to Boxing Social on the Usyk vs. Chisora fight. “That fight is done. It’s the worse kept secret in boxing. May 23rd at the O2. It’s a monstrous fight and one that will create a huge amount of stir when it’s finally formally announced. As it gets closer, it’s going to get more interesting.

“The questions will start and people will start doubting,” Hearn said of fans potentially doubting Usyk can beat Chisora. “We know Usyk is unbeatable. He’s the [former] undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world with great movement, but up at heavyweight, there will be questions, and there were questions even in the Chazz Witherspoon fight. So let’s see him against Dereck Chisora,” said Hearn.

Hearn is going a bit overboard in describing Usyk vs. Chisora as a “monstrous fight,” but it’s an upgrade from Oleksandr’s last contest against 38-year-old Witherspoon.

Chisora is a fringe contender on the world stage, and he has a lot of experience against top fighters. That makes it interesting, but this isn’t the best guy that Usyk could be fighting. If Hearn wanted, he could have matched Usyk against one of these heavyweights:

  • Michael Hunter
  • Filip Hrgovic
  • Martin Bakole
  • Alexander Povetkin
  • Joe Joyce
  • Joseph Parker
  • Robert Helenius

Chisora will at least give Usyk is first real test at heavyweight, which is more than what you can say about his last fight against Witherspoon. If Usyk passes this test with flying colors, he’ll be viewed as being ready to challenge WBO champion Anthony Joshua in late 2020 or in 2021. Usyk is probably going to face Joshua next year. AJ is going to be busy potentially facing the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 winner in December.

Chisora could be a nightmare for Usyk

“If Dereck Chisora can lean on him, slobber on him, be that big hurtful heavyweight, I don’t think this is going to be easy for Oleksandr Usyk,” said Hearn. “In fact, sitting there as the mandatory challenger for [WBO heavyweight champion] Anthony Joshua, I think this is an incredibly ballsy fight to take because if Chisora gets through these opening rounds, he’s going to be an absolute nightmare for Oleksandr Usyk. So I’m excited, and I’m excited about the fight. I think it’s a real banana skin [for Usyk],” said Hearn.

Chisora will put a lot of pressure on Usyk from start to finish, and make him use his wheels. It would be bad if Usyk is booed out of the O2 Arena like he was in his fights against Michael Hunter and Thabiso Mchunu in the U.S.

Usyk treated Hunter and Mchunu like they were knockout threats, and he ran from them. The boxing fans at ringside booed Usyk loudly, and let him know they did not appreciate the way he was fighting. In Usyk’s fight against Witherspoon last October in Chicago, he was booed but not as bad, and it wasn’t great stuff to watch.

The good news for Usyk is his fight with Chisora will be taking place in London, England, and the boxing fans there are more forgiving of fighters with spoiling tactics than U.S fans. It would still be a good idea for Usyk to stand his ground and fight the 36-year-old Chisora because he could lose a decision. Chisora will have the power advantage, and the judges may be impressed with his aggressiveness.

Usyk isn’t cut out to be fighting at heavyweight, and that’s something will be exposed soon, possibly against Chisora.

Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Lawrence Okolie possible for Usyk-Chisora undercard

“That will either be on the Chisora card or the AJ card,” said Hearn about the Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Lawrence Okolie fight. “At the moment, it looks like it’s on the Usyk card because the WBO wants us to get that fight in the diary. So we’re speaking to the WBO and also Glowacki’s promotional team, I spoke to them this morning, about the date. You’ll get a formal announcement about that this week as well,” said Hearn.

Krzysztof Glowacki and Okolie will b fighting for the vacant WBO cruiserweight title. This is a fight where we’ll get a chance to see if Okolie has the talent to win a world title. He has an ugly fighting style with his constant holding, and Glowacki could be a problem for him if he can’t resist grabbing all night. Okolie needs to break his habit of constant clinching, but it doesn’t look like he can. That’s how he’s always fought, and he’s stuck with it.


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