Oleksandr Usyk to fight Stephen Simmons on April 23 in Kiev

Oleksandr Usyk

Ukrainian powerhouse Oleksandr Usyk is set to defend his fringe WBO cruiserweight title against Scotland’s Stephen Simmons on home soil next month.

The 29 year-old amateur star has won all nine of his professional bouts within the allotted time limit and is currently ranked as the number one contender to champion Krzysztof Glowacki’s full 200 pound belt.

Widely-regarded as a future world champion, London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Usyk is currently treading water until the World Boxing Organisation stipulated that Pole Glowacki has to either meet the southpaw head on or vacate his coveted championship.

Opponent Simmons, from Edinburgh, has lost one of his 15 bouts so far against ex-British title holder Jon-Lewis Dickinson almost one year ago and holds a tenth round stoppage of Wadi Camacho as the standout win on his record.

‘Monster’ makes a considerable step-up from three most recent triumphs after predictably overcoming journeymen Remigijus Ziausys, Imantas Davidaitis and Jiri Svacina in his native land, all of whom hold losing records.

Usyk v Simmons is scheduled for the world famous Sport Palace in Kiev on April 23 and will feature featherweight unbeaten Oleg Malinovskiy (17-0), alongside lightweight prospect Denys Berinchyk (3-0) – both of whom are to be pitted against opponents named in the near future.