Premium | Reports | Oct 13 2019

Oleksandr Usyk enters the heavyweight division but can he rule it? The BN Verdict

Oleksandr Usyk thrashes Chazz Witherspoon but does he have any chance against the likes of Fury, Ruiz, Wilder and Joshua?
Oleksandr Usyk
Chicago • October 12

THE first fight at heavyweight for world cruiserweight champions like Oleksandr Usyk is always designed to test the terrain. It’s generally a careful step to ensure the subsequent step, an altogether more dangerous one, can be taken confidently.

Taking the theme to extremes, Oleksandr Usyk, the Ukrainian ring wizard whose arrival in the banner division has long been craved, walked through a plucky but overmatched Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds inside the Chicago Wintrust Arena.

But how much benefit Usyk himself will have received from such a cautious bedding-in has justifiably been questioned by the cynics. Particularly as the 32-year-old, mandatory challenger with the World Boxing Organisation, could end up facing one of the champions in his next outing. Witherspoon to Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury would ordinarily be a preposterous step, after all.

IN CHARGE: Usyk takes the fight to Witherspoon