19
Aug
2019

Oleksandr Usyk vacates cruiserweight belts as heavyweight run looms

World Boxing News 28/03/2019
Usyk

📸: Mark Robinson

Cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk has renounced his throne in favor of an expected move up to the heavyweight division.

Usyk, who claimed four titles in winning the Ali Trophy at the end of a three-fight winning run in the World Boxing Super Series, is all set for a debut in the top division this spring.

The 32 year-old formally left the WBA title behind on Wednesday evening, as confirmed by Head of K2 Promotions Alex Krassyuk.

It’s believed the wheels are already in motion with the IBF, WBC and WBO to drop the other three.

A fight with Carlos Takam on May 17 is currently being touted as Usyk’s debut at 200 pounds plus. The Ukrainian is pushing towards an eventual clash with Anthony Joshua.

The  WBO are set to make Usyk the official mandatory challenger to Joshua’s throne. Placing the fight firmly on the agenda for 2020.

A win over Takam would lead to another heavyweight clash later in the year, with Joshua pencilled in for the first half of next year.

It’s been an amazing run for Usyk of the back of gold at the 2012 Olympics in London. Since then, Usyk has cleaned up in just sixteen pro fights.

Eyes have been cast to emulating Evander Holyfield’s feat of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. ‘The Real Deal’ became undisputed at both weights, becoming a legend in the process.

Worries regarding Usyk piling on poundage have been aired, although the skill factor – which is off the chart, gives the talented fighter everything he needs to be a success in the division.

Going up against much bigger and taller opponents could prove a struggle, but only at the very highest level for Usyk.

Furthermore, in a recent interview, Holyfield gave Usyk every chance against the correct choice of foe.

“Usyk is a real good fighter, he’s got real skills and he’s a left-hander,” Holyfield told The Ring Magazine. “He’s moving up, but heavyweights are bigger today. So I think it could be difficult for him.

“Usyk is gonna be fighting guys who are 6ft 9ins. In my day, the heavyweights were big, but they couldn’t bounce around like I could.

“I had good wheels and I could roll in and roll out. I could do all this. Usyk will need to do them too.

“It also depends on who he fights,” he added.

  • KEY POINTS

  • WBA title vacated

  • Other belts to follow

  • Heavyweight debut announcement imminent

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