British legend Prince Naseem Hamed believes Aleksandr Usyk would trouble the current top division champions after witnessing the Ukrainian’s triumph over Murat Gassiev in the ITV studio.
Hamed, who broke America during his time as a 1990’s UK boxing icon, acted as a pundit alongside Duke McKenzie for ITV Box Office coverage as Usyk lifted the Ali Trophy and unified the cruiserweight division in some style.
Upon giving his assessment, Hamed said Usyk should move up in weight and would be a handful for either Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.
“I honestly think he would give Anthony Joshua a run for his money,” Hamed told ITV.
“I would like to see him fight AJ. He can work for twelve rounds. He would give Anthony serious problems. I think he can do the same thing (as Gassiev) even against Wilder.”
Usyk called out Tony Bellew in the aftermath of his stunning triumph, a fight which could either be a final 200 pound title defense or a heavyweight debut.
Bellew remains the WBC Emeritus Champion and can activate a mandatory option at any point, according to the World Boxing Council.
Alternatively, Usyk could pile on a few more pounds to join the heavyweight ranks as Bellew holds a top ten rating with the WBC.
“Hey Tony Bellew, are you ready? If he doesn’t want to go down, I will go up for him. I will eat more spaghetti for my dinner!” Usyk said in his post-fight interview.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who looks after Bellew’s affairs, then stated he would seek out talks with Usyk’s handler Egis Klimas this week.
“That was a big win for Usyk and he has established himself as arguably the pound-for-pound No 1 in boxing right now,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports News on Sunday.
“Bellew v Usyk is one of the best fights that can be made right now.
“Tony has felt fantastic up around the 15st weight and I’m not sure he will make cruiser again but I know with Usyk’s desire to move to heavyweight that it certainly wouldn’t be a deal breaker.
“I spoke to Tony on Saturday night and he made his intentions very clear. I also reached out to Usyk’s team and we will continue the dialogue this week,” confirmed the Matchroom boss.