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Ricky Hatton previews & predicts Usyk vs. Chisora

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora Ricky Hatton

By Matt Lieberman: Ricky Hatton believes that Dereck Chisora will be able to hang in there with the more technically oriented Oleksandr Usyk for a few rounds tonight, but he’ll eventually crumble under the power of the Ukrainian fighter.

Hatton sees tonight’s Usyk-Chisora contest as a good indicator of how well-suited the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) is for the heavyweight division.

Many questions will be answered tonight by the 33-year-old Usyk with his match against 36-year-old Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs).

If Usyk can defeat Chisora and look good in doing so, the former two-division world champion Hatton believes he’ll show that he’s talented enough to compete against Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

How to watch Usyk vs. Chisora? The fight will be shown on DAZN in the U.S and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.  The location of the Usyk-Chisora fight is at the Wembley Arena in London, England.

Hatton: Usyk will answer questions

“The question on all our minds is what is Usyk going to be like in the heavyweight division,” said Ricky Hatton to DAZN.

“Dereck will take the fight to him. Usyk, will he be able to stand the pace with him because Dereck has a fantastic work-rate?

“The question is, does Usyk hit hard enough at heavyweight to knock someone like Dereck Chisora out? More importantly, does he have it at heavyweight to mix it with the Tyson Furys and the AJs of this world?

“We’ll get a better look, and a bit more knowledge come Usyk and Chisora fight. Usyk is exceptional.  He’s a pound-for-pounder, and that goes without a shadow of a doubt.

“And he has the potential to the other heavyweights, such as AJ, and such as Tyson Fury. Absolutely, he has the potential to do that, but we’re going to learn a little bit more after he fights Dereck Chisora,” said Hatton.

The fatigue factor could be playing a crucial role in tonight’s fight between Dereck and Oleksandr.

During Usyk’s days as a cruiserweight, he couldn’t hurt top fighters Mairis Briedis, Tony Bellew, and Murat Gassiev with his power. But the fast pace that Usyk set wore those fighters down.

Usyk did knockout Bellew, but that was against a tired former light heavyweight, whose stamina was too poor to be fighting in a fast-paced fight at cruiserweight.

If Chisora can handle the pace that Usyk sets, he’s got a good chance to wear him down and knock him out with one of his big power shots.

Chisora is in last chance saloon

“Dereck is a well-respected, dangerous heavyweight,” Hatton said. “If he does a job against Dereck, we’ve got our answers. Yes, he [Usyk] is.

“Dereck Chisora knows he’s in there with a very special talent, and Dereck might be thanking at the back of his mind, ‘this is my last chance I’m going to get against a major name and opening.’

“That’s why he’s preparing as he has prepared. Dereck knows he’s in the last chance saloon and that’s why he’s in the best shape of his life. Dereck does have a puncher’s chance.

“He’s shown in his fights that he can pull one of those shots out from nowhere. He’s got a very, very high work-rate, and he’ll likely sit on Usyk’s chest and work away. So, he has a puncher’s chance,” Hatton said.

I get the impression that Chisora does believe this is his last chance to earn a big money fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. That’s why Dereck has put everything into this contest to make sure he’s at his best.

A loss here for Chisora will pretty much end any hopes of him ever getting another chance to earn a world title shot. Chisora is probably too old at 36 to work his way back into position for another title chance, and he doesn’t possess enough talent to beat the top dogs to earn a shot.

We already saw Chisora lose twice to highly ranked Dillian Whyte. You can predict a similar outcome for Dereck if he were to face the other top contenders.

Chisora has a lot of respect for Usyk, and he saw what he did to his friend and fellow countryman Bellew a couple of years ago in stopping him in the 8th round in November 2018.

Bellew was the faster, more powerful fighter of the two, but Usyk wore him down with his pace and knocked him out.

Chisora doesn’t want to gas out the way Bellew did and finds himself in a vulnerable position where he winds up on his back on the canvas.

Usyk might not handle heavyweight power

“People forget that Usyk is used to being hit on the chin by cruiserweight,” said Hatton. This is the first time that he’s going to get hit by a heavyweight.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora Ricky Hatton

“You know what? He might not take to it. So a lot of questions and a lot of answers are going to be answered when Usyk steps in the ring with Dereck Chisora,” said Hatton.

We haven’t seen Usyk in there with a quality heavyweight yet since he moved up from cruiserweight in 2019. Usyk’s promoters put him in with an out of shape, inactive 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon for his heavyweight debut a year ago.

That fight told us nothing about Usyk’s suitability other than he can beat an old guy whose career ended ten years ago.

Usyk’s fight against heavyweight Joe Joyce in the World Series of Boxing eight years ago was perhaps the best glimpse of whether he can hang with a top heavyweight.

That was only a five-rounder, and it was so long ago that it has no bearing on how Usyk will perform against Chisora or some of the elite heavyweights.

What we saw in the Joyce fight was Usyk gets tired, and he doesn’t possess enough power to hurt a big heavyweight. He also marks up around the face quickly.

The body shots that Joyce threw in that fight bothered Usyk, and he wasn’t able to dodge them nearly as well as the slow headshots that Joyce was throwing.

Chisora’s best chance of winning is to follow the Teofimo Lopez game plan that he used to beat Vasily Lomachenko.

Mixing up punches from head to body worked well for Teofimo, which would be the best way to get the better of Usyk. Being an amateur standout from Ukraine, Usyk isn’t used to being hit to the body.

The amateurs are more about fencing than fighting, and we didn’t see Usyk fight many guys with a pro-style.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora Ricky Hatton

Artur Beterbiev was the only guy in the 2012 Olympics that Usyk fought with a professional fighting style, and he almost lost to him. A lot of boxing fans think Beterbiev was robbed against Usyk in their quarterfinal fight.

Hatton: Usyk will be too strong for Chisora

“My fight prediction for the fight is, Usyk is a very special talent,” Hatton continued. “He was so ferociously strong at his previous weight. He’ll carry his power up more if I’m brutally honest with you to the heavyweight division.

“It’s very hard for me to go against Dereck because Dereck has been my friend. Dereck can give him a good fight for a few rounds, put him under pressure.

“Dereck will get the questions that we’re asking. We’ll certainly find out the answers that we’re searching for, but Usyk will be a little bit too strong.

“David Haye was initially a cruiserweight and he moved up to heavyweight and he knocked Dereck out. Usyk might do similar,” said Haye with his prediction.

Usyk won’t be too strong for Chisora, but he might be too active for him. The way that Usyk will move around the ring will give Chisora problems potentially.

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