I WENT to Kiev last weekend to referee Oleksandr Usyk against Andrey Knyazev, for a WBO international crusierweight title.
Usyk is a former World and European amateur champion at heavyweight and I wanted to see how he measured up against our own Anthony Joshua. Although the Ukrainian currently campaigns at cruiser, a move to the land of the giants looks likely for the future considering his amateur background. His opponent was strong, had a big heart, but was easy to hit, and I thought Usyk was a little bit lazy and could have taken him out earlier, but maybe he wanted to get some rounds under his belt. Usyk had fast hands, and moves around the ring at speed with good footwork, and needs a couple of years before thinking of challenging Joshua – not to mention bulking up – and by that time I expect Joshua to be the world champion. It could be an interesting fight in years to come.
I arrived back home late Sunday night and was really pleased to find that Derry Mathews had turned in his usual lionhearted performance and come up with the title, so congratulations Derry.