Usyk vs. Chisora close to being done
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is feeling optimistic that he’ll get the fight done between heavyweights Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora for October at the O2 Arena in London. There won’t be fans, so both fighters will need to agree to less money than they otherwise would be getting if this were better times.
Usyk-Chisora were supposed to have fought earlier this year on May 23, but the pandemic got in the way of the fight. They were hoping to stage the bout in front of a live crowd, but there was no way possible to happen with the virus situation.
Provided that Hearn can get the Chisora-Usyk fight done, the winner will be the WBO mandatory to IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) and his promoter Alexander Krassyuk aren’t engaging in stepping aside to let AJ face WBC champ, Tyson Fury, for the undisputed championship.
Team Usyk is willing to wait until Joshua makes his defense against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on December 12, but after that, they want their mandated title shot.
“We’re close,” Promoter Eddie Hearn said to Sky Sports about the Chisora vs. Usyk negotiations. “I mean both guys understand that without a gate at The O2, there’s significantly less revenue driven to that show, but both guys fancy that fight.
“We’re trying to get the math right. We’re trying to get the numbers right to get these guys over the line. I have to say, fair play to both of them, they are trying to find a way.”
Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) will be the underdog in this fight, but he’s a live dog and will have a chance of spoiling Usyk’s opportunity to challenge for a world title. Usyk is taking a monstrous risk in electing to use the 36-year-old Chisora as a warm-up fight to get ready to battle for the WBO title next year.
Usyk could have taken another soft opponent like he did last October when he beat 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon in his heavyweight debut. He didn’t have to fight fringe contender Chisora, but he wanted to destroy a credible fighter in the heavyweight division before taking on WBO belt-holder Joshua.
Chisora has the power, size, and experience to give Usyk a lot of problems. It’s going to be interesting to see how well the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk handles the size advantage that Chisora will have for him. In Usyk’s bout against Witherspoon, he weighed 215 pounds, and he showed no signs of having any power.
What Usyk and his team need to worry about is if he can’t hurt Chisora with any of his weak punches. If Usyk is unable to break Chisora, it means he’s going to have to go 12 rounds to beat him. That’s not going to be comfortable with Chisora bouncing big shots off Usyk’s chin round after round.
Weight classes were created for a reason, and Usyk doesn’t belong at heavyweight if his last performance against the aging Chazz was any indication.
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