Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora on DAZN & Sky Box Office Pay-Per-View on Oct.31
By Kenneth Friedman: Matchroom has gotten the deal done for heavyweight Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora to square off on October 31 on DAZN and Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view in the UK. The fight will be held behind closed doors.
Choosing Halloween for the date of the Chisora vs. Usyk fight, the organizers are counting on boxing fans sitting at home. In a typical year, that would be a mistake, but now things are different because of the pandemic. Fans are more likely to be at home on Halloween than hitting up parties and enjoying themselves going out.
Dereck will be the underdog in the fight, but he’ counting on his home country advantage as helping him upset the odds. Also, Chisora is a much bigger fighter than Usyk, and with more power and experience.
This is a good fight. It would be better if Usyk took on one of the younger heavyweight contenders, but it’s understandable why he isn’t doing that. He would be wishing his WBO mandatory spot, and he’s not about to do that against one of the younger lions, especially given his lack of size and power.
Chisora with less pressure on him
There’s less pressure on the 36-year-old Chisora to win than Usyk, who will be risking his WBO mandatory slot. If Chisora this fight, it will be a real setback for him, as he would like to fight for a world title again. That’s Chisora’s golden ticket.
If he beats Usyk, Chisora will be making massive money fighting Anthony Joshua. Fighting AJ will give Dereck the biggest payday of his career, and it would be coming at the perfect time. For Usyk to be using Chisora as a tune-up level opponent, that tells you what he thinks of him.
Usyk didn’t pick one of the younger top heavyweights like Dillian Whyte, Daniel Dubois or Joseph Parker to fight. He wanted Chisora, and that means he views him as a soft target.
It’s been eight years since Chisora challenged WBC champion Vitali Klitschko for his belt in 2012, and he lost a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in that fight. That was the only time in Chisora’s career that he fought for a world title, and it didn’t go well for him.
Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) probably realizes that this may be his last shot to earn a world title opportunity against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Chisora and the 33-year-old Usyk were supposed to have fought earlier this year on May 23, but the fight was erased due to the pandemic. It’ a good thing that the battle was postponed, considering that it’s given both guys time to help build their match-up by posting on social media.
“Many people say that Derek is a monster, but deep down he is a kind man,” said Usyk. “I don’t expect to see that good side of him. I know that he wants to break me, but I am water, wind and fire all together. Derek Chisora, I am coming for you!”
Usyk getting his first test at heavyweight
Chisora gives Usyk his first actual test at heavyweight, and it’s going to be fun to see how well he holds up. Last October, Usyk made his debut in the heavyweight division, beating Chazz Witherspoon by a seventh-round stoppage in Chicago.
That was far from a real test that you can be, given that Witherspoon (38-4, 29 KOs) was 38 at the time, and a decade removed from his best years as a professional. Usyk hasn’t fought since, and maybe that’s a good thing. If Usyk fought, boxing fans would have expected him to face one of the talented contenders rather than another old, washed-up fighter.
With Usyk’s promoters selecting Chisora as his opponents, they’re targeting the British audience, hoping to impress them by having the 2012 Olympic gold medalist take on one of their fighters.
It’ a genius move, but it’s a fight that won’t prove anything for Usyk. If he beats Chisora, who is no longer in his prime, it’s not going to translate to him being able to defeat Anthon Joshua or Tyson Fury. Those guys are on a different level in terms of size, youth, and talent.
Oleksandr’s power not there
Despite Usyk being a big favorite, you can’t rule out an upset victory for Chisora. He can still punch as well as he did earlier in his career, and he’s likely not going to be bothered by Usyk’s shots.
Usyk didn’t look impressive in the power department in his wins over Witherspoon and Tony Bellew, and that’s not a good thing for him. He weighed only 215 pounds for the Witherspoon match.
That’s very small for a heavyweight in this era, and that’s going to be a problem for him potentially against Chisora. In Chisora’s last fight against David Price, he weighed 260 lbs.
You have to go back four years to 2016 for the last time Chisora fought someone close to Usyk’s weight. Chisora fought the 220-lb Andras Csomor in 2016, and he wiped him out in two rounds.
“I need to test myself against world class Heavyweights on my new road to Undisputed and Derek stands in front of me,” said Usyk.
Given the lack of experience Usyk has at heavyweight, you have to say that Chisora has a pretty good chance of beating him. In the World Series of Boxing, Usyk struggled to beat Joe Joyce.
He beat him, but Joyce severely reddened his face, and you could tell that Usyk would have had significant problems if the contest had been a ten or a twelve rounder. Joyce was wearing Usyk down at the end with his size and power.
Chisora’s best chance of winning is to slowly wear Usyk down with his heavy shots, and make sure he puts hands on him as much as possible. Targeting Usyk’s body would be a good plan of attack for Chisora because he’s not easy to hit to the head at times.
Usyk’s best career opponents
- Murat Gassiev
- Mairis Briedis
- Thabiso Mchunu
- Krzysztof Glowacki
- Michael Hunter
- Marco Huck
- Tony Bellew
- Chazz Witherspoon
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