Oleksandr Usyk and Artur Beterbiev expect to continue their ongoing rivalry in a potential world heavyweight title clash.
The rivals, who met twice during the amateurs, remain on course for a massive collision once Beterbiev moves up in weight.
When it happens, the animosity between the Ukrainian and the Canadian Russian would be fireworks.
Usyk vs Beterbiev
There aren’t many more words to describe unified light heavyweight ruler Beterbiev and two-weight king Usyk. Fans and media alike are running out of superlatives for both men.
When they eventually battle again, the event could be one of the biggest ever seen between two fighters with Eastern European heritage.
“The Beast from the East” – Beterbiev is 18-0. Every single one of his wins came via a big knockout. His impressive pro run comes behind an amateur career paved with gold.
Beterbiev won medals at light-heavyweight during his vested career. However, one man always stood in his way at the heavyweight limit. That man was Usyk.
Twice the Ukrainian knocked Beterbiev out of tournaments when the Russian increased weight. Beterbiev eventually decided to give up on his Olympic dream after London 2012.
Usyk claimed the heavyweight gold and embarked on a pro career in the same year as Beterbiev.
Both went on to win more than one title at their chosen weights of 175 and 200 pounds. But a heavyweight meeting is firmly in their future after Usyk claimed the division’s top prize.
Combining it with the big boys, Usyk has proved himself with two victories over Anthony Joshua.
Cruiserweight and Heavyweight
At the same time, Beterbiev has a clear run at 200 pounds plus after proving dominant at 175. The 37-year-old will soon be a cruiserweight world title challenger in the next twelve months.
Usyk’s old weight is pretty light of big names. Therefore, Beterbiev could win a 200-pound belt and be gone after one victory.
Lawrence Okolie and Ilunga Makabu would be realistic triumphs for Beterbiev. But primarily, none of the cruiserweight contenders are seen as a massive threat to Beterbiev.
When he moves up, that devastating power will go with him. Once a two-weight king, it’s not expected that Beterbiev will hang about.
Beterbiev should have no problem picking up a recognized strap. By the time he’s pushing 39, he should be a fully-fledged heavyweight.
A challenge against Usyk with both undefeated would be one of the biggest events boxing could make. It has the potential to be the biggest amateur-to-professional rivalry in years.
No pipe dream
It’s no pipe dream, either. WBN understands Usyk is one of Beterbiev’s main career targets. He wants revenge for the amateurs.
You can add that Beterbiev has already stopped Usyk’s buddy Oleksandr Gvozdyk for another angle.
Whatever the weight he competes in, Beterbiev has the power to burn. He’ll be savage at heavyweight and the perfect foil for a slick boxer like Usyk.
The next few years will see the winds blow in another direction from the nows of Tyson Fury, Andy Ruiz Jr, and Deontay Wilder.
Usyk vs Beterbiev could prove to be the hottest ticket.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.