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Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora in October

Derek Chisora

By Kenneth Friedman: Oleksandr Usyk will be facing a tough hurdle in seasoned veteran Dereck Chisora this October, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. The winner of the Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) will move forward to possibly take on Anthony Joshua in first half of next year.

Usyk is the WBO mandatory, and he just needs to deal with the 36-year-old former world title challenger Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) on a yet to be determined date and venue.

Chisora will have upset on his mind when he gets in there with the 33-year-old Usyk, who still punches with cruiserweight level power. If Chisora beats Usyk, he can put himself in a position to challenge Joshua in 2021. It’s likely that Joshua would vacate his WBO title if Chisora winds up as his mandatory because it’s a fight that won’t sell.

This is a fight that these two need to get out of the way. Unfortunately, for Chisora and Usyk, it’s likely going to take place behind closed doors without fans. That’s too bad because this match would have done well in front of a large crowd.

It’s unclear how much money would come from the gate for a Usyk-Chisora fight, but it would be enough to increase their purses and put together a decent undercard.

Derek Chisora

Usyk taking risky fight against Chisora

“You also have the issue of Oleksandr Usyk, who is going to fight Dereck Chisora probably in October,’ said Hearn to IFL TV. “So that’s AJ’s mandatory, and so we may even get to a situation where it isn’t even an undisputed fight.

“I will do everything I can to try and make it an undisputed, while also respecting people’s rights. Usyk didn’t allow the Pulev fight for the IBF. The IBF said ‘that’s next,’ and he took it on the chin,” said Hearn.

Usyk must take on Chisora to get a big payday and to prove to the boxing world that he rates a world title shot. Usyk has only fought once since moving up to heavyweight, and that was against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon last October.

That was a low-level opponent for Usyk, and a lot of fans weren’t impressed. Because of that, Chisora was selected as Usyk’s next opponent that he’s supposed to prove himself to the fans.

Where there could be a problem if Usyk wins but looks bad in doing so. That would hurt Usyk’s case for challenging for a world title if he struggles to beat Chisora.

A loss for Usyk against Chisora would be game over for him, and you can’t rule out that happening. Chisora has a three-fight winning streak since losing to Dillian Whyte in their rematch in 2018. Since that loss, Chisora has beaten David Price, Senad Gashi, and Artur Szpilka.

Usyk will need to try and find a way to get through this fight with Chisora without getting hurt.

Usyk must fight Joshua vs. Pulev winner

“He’s [Usyk] is supposed to fight the winner [of Joshua vs. Pulev],” said Hearn. “So unless you’ve got a plan for Oleksandr Usyk, he’s got to fight the winner. He wants to fight for the world heavyweight title,” said Hearn.

Derek Chisora

The likely plan for Joshua to steer around Usyk is to either give him a step aside payment or vacate. It’ll look strange if Tyson Fury faces his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte in early next year, while Joshua chooses to avoid facing Usyk.

If Fury faces Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) in February of next year, then you can assume that Joshua will be pressured to face Usyk.

Hearn also said that heavyweights Martin Bakole and Sergey Kuzmin will be fighting in July or August at the Matchroom Boxing headquarters in the back garden.


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