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Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora on October 31

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

By Jeff Aronow: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora has been tentatively scheduled for October 31, according to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.

That’s the working date that they plan on staging the Usyk-Chisora heavyweight clash, but it’ll depend on fans being allowed back into events.

Hearn wants to ensure that there’s a gate of some kind for the Usyk vs. Chisora fight, seeing that it’s too big of a contest for it to be staged behind closed doors.

Eddie isn’t necessarily looking for a full crowd for him to stage the fight card, but it’s got to have a certain amount of fans at least.

Hearn with pressure on him

“I had a phone call tonight from Alex Krassup from K2 Promotions, whose the co-promoter of Oleksandr Usyk saying, ‘Any news? We’re ready to go.’

“They’re the phone calls we’re getting quite a lot at the moment, and the pressure mounts on us to come up with [the fight against Dereck Chisora],” said Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

Postponing the fight until 2021 will be an option that Matchroom will have to explore if the U.S. or U.K. governments still aren’t allowing fans by the end of 2020.

That won’t just impact that Usyk-Chisora match. It’ll also likely cause the delay in IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s title defense against Kubrat Pulev, and the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III trilogy bout.

Those are fights that are expected to take place in November and December.

Usyk and his promoters want to get the battle against 36-year-old #9 IBF, #9 WBO, #10 WBA & #12 WBC Chisora out of the way.

Chisora is supposed to be a warm-up match for the 33-year-old former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk to get him ready for his mandated title shot against WBO champion Joshua.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk was installed as the #1 WBO mandatory for Joshua based on being the World Boxing Organization cruiserweight champion.

Many fans don’t like the idea of Usyk being given the mandatory spot with the WBO at heavyweight without fighting for that position. However, those are the rules for the sanctioning body.

Usyk isn’t the first fighter that has asked for and been given a mandatory position in a division above them. Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders have both made that move in the past.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

Usyk vs. Chisora will need a live gate


“Dereck is training really hard,” Hearn continued. “October 31st is the date we have penciled in for that fight, but it’s dependent on the current deal driving people through the doors and having some kind of gate or moving it internationally and having a site fee,” said Hearn.

For American boxing fans, October 31 isn’t an ideal one, as many of them tend to go to parties or out to dinner on that night. That’s Halloween in the States, and you might not get a lot of U.S. fans hanging around their house wanting to watch Usyk face Chisora.

A better date for the Usyk-Chisora match would be on October 30 rather than the 31st, but the fight might not happen at all during that month. If Hearn is counting on fans being allowed back in by October, he may be bitterly disappointed.

Without a vaccine to curb the number of cases for the virus, it could be too risky for the U.K. or U.S. governments to allow a boxing event in which thousands of fans are going to be packed together like sardines in a can.

“Again, that’s a really important fight. When this thing started, I had three main names and that was to deliver Whyte-Povetkin, Usyk-Chisora, and Joshua against [Kubrat] Pulev.

“And to make sure the other stable could have the opportunities, keep moving forward and progressing their careers,” said Hearn.

Usyk will be fighting for the second time at heavyweight when he faces Chisora in October, and it’s going to be interesting to see how well he does.

In Usyk’s first fight at heavyweight last October against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon, he was underwhelming in beating him. Although Usyk stopped Witherspoon in the seventh round, he didn’t dominate the way boxing fans had hoped he would.


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