Oleksandr Usyk will Continue Heavyweight Quest Against Dereck Chisora
Undefeated former champion Oleksandr Usyk will face former title challenger Dereck Chisora this weekend in London.
Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 • 5:31 PM ET
Oleksandr Usyk is looking to keep his perfect record in the ring.
London will host a high profile heavyweight fight on Halloween night, as former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will try to maintain his momentum in the division against proven veteran and former title challenger Dereck Chisora.
Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made his successful heavyweight debut last October, forcing an exhausted Chazz Witherspoon to retire in his corner following the seventh round. Before fighting Witherspoon, who hadn’t been in a notable fight in nearly a decade, Usyk was linked to bouts with former title challenger Carlos Takam and former kickboxing champion Tyrone Spong. With a win on Saturday, however, Usyk is expected to challenge Anthony Joshua for the WBO heavyweight title.
In his heavyweight debut, Usyk weighed 215 pounds, but he says he has had to pack on extra pounds leading up to Saturday’s bout.
“I feel more power,” the Ukrainian recently said via The Sun. “I have put extra weight on my body and when I train in the gym, I don’t feel as flexible or sharp, but that is only because of the hard work. He is a really big guy, and he hits hard — but I will train hard and be in my best shape because I love boxing very much.
“When it comes to sparring and boxing, me and my team will decide on my optimum weight. I will stay on that weight and it will be ideal for my movement because that is my main skill.”
While questions still remain if the 33-year-old Usyk can perform at a high level against the top heavyweights in the world, he can prove any doubters wrong by defeating Chisora, a fighter with a wealth of experience.
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Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) defeated David Price by fourth-round TKO last October, his third straight win since he was knocked out by Dillian Whyte in the 11th round of their 2018 bout. Just when you think he has fallen out of the title conversation, the 36-year-old Chisora manages to hang around by bouncing back with wins.
While he’s missing a marquee victory, Chisora has fought some of the best fighters in the division, including Tyson Fury (twice), Vitali Klitschko for a title, Robert Helenius, David Haye and Kubrat Pulev. Although he already has a win over Takam and despite his experience, Chisora believes Usyk will be his toughest opponent yet.
"I think Usyk is the top, number one fighter out of all the fighters I have faced because he's bringing movement, agility and picks his punches well," Chisora told ESPN. "He moves about the ring well. I'm trying to find the right sparring for him and it's not been easy.
"It will be difficult to stop his movement, get to him, but it's what I have got to do."
Chisora says he won’t hold anything back against the undefeated Usyk.
“When we get in the ring, I think we’re just gonna let it all go,” Chisora said via Sky Sports Boxing.