Usyk v Takam OFF, Michael Hunter could switch to Anthony Joshua bill

Oleksandr Usyk will no longer make his heavyweight debut in Maryland on May 25, manager Egis Klimas has confirmed.

The former undisputed cruiserweight king was due to face Carlos Takam in Maryland later this month but suffered an injury during training.

Usyk will now recover before making an official announcement on his top division rebirth for the summer.

“Unfortunately Usyk has suffered a bicep injury and will no longer fight on May 25. A new date for his heavyweight debut will be announced shortly,” said Klimas.

“Due to a bicep injury, Oleksandr Usyk has been forced to postpone his heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam, scheduled for May 25,” added a Matchroom Boxing statement. “An announcement regarding our Maryland show will be made shortly.

Michael Hunter, linked to facing Anthony Joshua on June 1, was due to appear on the undercard to Usyk’s headliner with Takam.

Should the event be scrapped altogether, Hunter could now join the Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr. bill one week later than his planned return.

Hunter’s opponent was yet to be formally secured.


In other news, WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. is nearing his long-awaited title defense.

Russell (29-1, 17 KOs) will defend his title on May 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The American is determined to continue his reign against Francisco “Kiko” Martínez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) from Spain.

“Kiko” Martinez is ranked third in the 126 pounds division by the WBC. Gary hasn`t fought since his triumph by unanimous decision over tough Joseph “JoJo” Diaz.

Gary won the world crown in 2015 with a resounding victory against Jhonny Gonzalez by TKO in four rounds. The fight happened at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

The fight between Russell vs. Martinez will be part of the card starring WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 29 KOs). ‘The Bronze Bomber’ is pitted against Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs), in a show that will be broadcast on Showtime.