Johnny Muller may have bitten off more than he can chew.
His next assignment will come on August 22 against a man already drawing rave reviews in the cruiserweight division: Oleksandr Usyk.
The Ukrainian southpaw has already knocked out a pair of South Africans: Danie Venter and Daniel Bruwer both fell at his fists in 2014. He is brutally powerful, all seven of his pro fights having been won via the short distance.
Usyk is already rated number three by the WBO and comes equipped with immense amateur status. He won gold in the heavyweight division at the 2012 Olympic Games, beating Artur Beterbiev along the way, and was crowned champion at the 2008 European Amateur Boxing Championships at light-heavyweight and the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships at heavyweight.
In 2012 he was voted the world’s best amateur boxer.
Speaking of his fighter, Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krasyuk makes comparisons to a boxing legend. “He was born the same day as Muhammad Ali in January. I think this is significant.
Interestingly, Usyk is a native of Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia last year.
“It’s not a fight I was particularly interested in,” said promoter Rodney Berman. “But Johnny’s manager Harold Volbrecht is keen, so they will be fighting.”
It’s just as well Muller says he will fight whoever is put in front of him. Most others would run away at the prospect of fighting a man as brutal as Usyk.