Oleksandr Usyk ready to “explode” against Dereck Chisora on Saturday

By Boxing News - 10/27/2020 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) says he’s ready to “explode” this Saturday night in his important 12-round fight against the popular British heavyweight Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) at Wembley Arena in London, UK.

Usyk will be putting his WBO mandatory position up for grabs against Chisora, who is arguably at the last chance saloon with his career.

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Chisora knows that this could be the last opportunity he gets to position himself for a world title shot, and he’s going to be giving it his all.

On paper, the 36-year-old Chisora doesn’t stand much of a shot of defeating the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk. He doesn’t have the same amateur pedigree or overall talent that Usyk possesses, but that may not matter.

Chisora has a massive edge in heavyweight experience, and he’s the much naturally bigger fighter with the superior power. In Usyk’s heavyweight debut last October, he weighed 215 pounds for his fight against Chazz Witherspoon.

Usyk essentially was at the same size as he’d been while fighting at cruiserweight. The only difference is that he didn’t dehydrate himself to make the 200-lb cruiserweight limit.

The question is, can a cruiserweight like Usyk beat a powerful heavyweight in Chisora? We’re going to find out on Saturday night.

Usyk ready for Chisora challenge

Image: Oleksandr Usyk ready to "explode" against Dereck Chisora on Saturday

“I’m going to explode on Saturday night,” said Usyk to Matchroom Boxing.

In response to Chisora saying that he’s going to get hit a lot this Saturday, Usyk said, “[he’s] probably right,” and that he would need to “eat a lot of leather” to take his WBO mandatory position away from him.

“I’m not thinking of the next fight before I’m finished with the one ahead of me,” Usyk said when asked about a fight between him and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

“Let revenge drive him. I’m ready,” said Usyk when told that Chisora wants to avenge Tony Bellew’s loss against him.

It’s wise that Usyk, 33, not look past the Chisora fight towards a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Chisora has the power, experience, and talent to beat Usyk.

Even if Usyk beats Chisora, he’s not going to get a title shot against Joshua in 2021. It’s already made clear to Usyk by Hearn that he wants him to wait until Joshua faces WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, twice before he gets his mandated title shot.

If Usyk pushes the World Boxing Organization for a title shot in 2021, he’ll wind up fighting for the vacant WBO strap. Joshua will vacate the WBO title if Usyk forces his hand, according to Hearn.

Usyk and his management will need to decide if they want to fight for the vacant WBO belt against #2 Daniel Dubois or #3 Joseph Parker rather than wait until 2022 to face the Joshua-Fury winner.

Chisora will push Usyk to the limit

Image: Oleksandr Usyk ready to "explode" against Dereck Chisora on Saturday

“He was flat against Witherspoon, and there were times in that fight where he didn’t look comfortable,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Usyk.

“There were times in that fight where he didn’t look comfortable getting hit, and Dereck Chisora hits a lot harder than Chazz Witherspoon, and his engine is on another level.

“If he [Chisora] gets beat, he gets beat. You have someone in Chisora that will give you everything. He will try and push Oleksandr Usyk to the absolute limit.

“Can he win? 100% he can win this fight. He had the tenacity, he has the power, he has the engine, and he has the ruggedness to win this fight. But he’s the underdog in this fight, unquestionably.

“At times, he’s going to get hit from angles that he never knew existed. We know that Usyk proved himself to be the real deal at cruiserweight.

“No one knows how he’ll unfold at heavyweight. I tell you, it’s going to be absolutely fascinating this fight on Saturday. If Usyk or Chisora test positive, the show is off,” said Hearn.

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Chisora will likely give Usyk his toughest test as a professional, and he could hit the canvas once or twice. Usyk didn’t perform at a high level in his last two fights against Chaz Witherspoon and Tony Bellew.

Usyk won both fights, but he didn’t show the kind of talent that would suggest that he’s got the type of ability to compete at the highest rungs of the heavyweight division. Oleksandr looked average in beating Bellew and Witherspoon.