Chisora on Usyk: ‘I think this fight will be the hardest fight I’ve ever had’

Derek Chisora says his colossal Heavyweight clash with Ukraine’s pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk at The O2 in London on Saturday May 23, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, will be the hardest fight that he’s ever had.

‘WAR’ Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) scored a devastating second round knockout over Poland’s Artur Szpilka at The O2 in July 2019, a year on from his incredible eighth round KO win against Carlos Takam at the same venue, before blitzing fellow Brit David Price in four rounds last October.

The Finchley favourite has breathed new life into his his career over the past 18 months and is now aiming to move himself back into World Title contention by claiming what would be a sensational upset win over the unbeaten Ukrainian star.

“It’s going to be leather,” said Chisora. “I’m already taking dancing lessons. The guy is going to be on fire man. He’s going to be dancing bro. He’s going to be dancing. Where can you get guys who can be sparring like him? Nowhere. The guy is a dancer. He’s going to dance.

“It’s going to be hard, I’m not going to lie to you. I think this fight will be the hardest fight I’ve ever had. Not because the guy hasn’t got power, but because of the accuracy of his punches and the way he chucks them. When he chucks them he’s unbelievable.

“I’m going to have to eat leather, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to eat leather. I’m probably going to take five before I get one in there, but it is what it is. I eat that sh*t for breakfast. The hunger remains and the dedication is the same.”

2012 Olympic Gold medallist Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) cemented his place as one of the finest fighters on the planet with a phenomenal run of victories in his opponents’ backyard that saw him crowned the Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion of the World, and Chisora confesses to being an admirer of his next opponent.

“We can’t sell this fight by insulting the guy. It’s a fight for boxing fans. If I say ‘f*ck you’ to him he’s going to think I said, ‘good morning’. He doesn’t understand any English. He’s a good guy. There’s nothing wrong about this guy.

“He’s a funny guy, he loves life, he likes everything. He’s a boy’s boy – he’s cool. I can’t really say anything bad about this man. He’s done so much in four years. He’s done great for himself. He’s amazing, I’m a big fan of his.”

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Usyk to battle Chazz Witherspoon on 10/12

Oleksandr Usyk will face Chazz Witherspoon on his Heavyweight debut at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Witherspoon (38-3 29 KOs) second cousin of former two-time World Heavyweight ruler Tim Witherspoon, is unbeaten in five years with his last win coming in March in Atlantic City over Santiago Silgado and now the 38 year old Philadelphian gets a huge opportunity to pull off a massive upset as Ukrainian pound-for-pound king Usyk moves up to Heavyweight after leaving the Cruiserweight division as the undisputed ruler.

“I can’t wait to face Usyk in Chicago,” said Witherspoon. “I have been in training ready for a big fight, and it doesn’t get bigger than this. Oleksandr is stepping up to Heavyweight – and he’s going to find out that it’s a totally different game.

“I’ve won my last eight fights and I really feel that I’ve been waiting in the wings for a huge opportunity like this and I am going to put every ounce of myself into the fight on this massive stage.”

Witherspoon replaces Tyrone Spong in the main event on the stacked card in the Windy City after there were adverse findings in two of Spong’s urine samples. As a result, the Illinois State Athletic Commission will not license Tyrone to box and rescinded their approval of the bout with Usyk.

Usyk’s Heavyweight bow against Witherspoon is part of a huge night of World championship action in Chicago as Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo and unified Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill defends her WBA and WBC titles against old foe Erica Farias.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr returns to action against Morgan Fitch, Charles Conwell defends his USBA Super-Welterweight title against Patrick Day, an all-Chicago Super-Featherweight clash between Josh Hernandez and Giovanni Mioletti, former World title challenger TJ Doheny returns to the ring, Reshat Mati is back after recovering from a shoulder injury and a fourth pro outing for rising starlet Otha Jones III.

Photo: Marchroom Boxing

Usyk talks preparation for heavyweight debut

Oleksandr Usyk is closing in on a heavyweight debut that he’s been preparing for since his amateur days as he faces Tyrone Spong at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday October 12, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Usyk (16-0 12 KOs) has made the move to Heavyweight after dominating at Cruiserweight, ending his spell at 200lbs as the undisputed king with a phenomenal run of victories in his opponents’ backyard against Marco Huck, Mairis Breidis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew.

The Ukrainian pound-for-pound star begins his bid to become a two-weight World ruler against Spong (14-0 13 KOs) in the Windy City, but Usyk says his rise to Heavyweight began back in his amateur days, so moving to join the big guns holds no fear for the 32 year old.

“There have been no problems in order to move to the Heavyweight division,” said Usyk. “At least to me there have been no problems. I simply moved to the Heavyweight division, and that was it. Virtually nothing has changed in my training, we’ve simply started doing even more work. Different, and hard work, which is practicing with big guys who pose a great threat.

“We’re working hard, smiling, going crazy during the training camp, and doing our job. Everyone who is in my camp does their job 100 percent meaning that they give everything so that I feel comfortable. Everything is as comfortable as possible; the food, rehab, resting, massage, training. My team is looking after all of it and we are working hard together.

“Before the Olympics, and even before the World Championships, when I was boxing at 91 kilos, we were experimentally boxing in the Heavyweight class specifically so that it would be more dangerous. I weighed in at a competition, for example, not 91 kilos but 91.5, and was boxing against the guys weighing 100-102-105, which was our objective. And it was not only I who was boxing one class up, Vasiliy Lomachenko was, Oleksandr Gvozdyk and all of those who were part of that golden Ukrainian team.

“I’m really looking forward to boxing on October 12. I very much missed the boxing. I love boxing, and really there is a lot of talk about it, but I’m not paying attention to it. My objective is to do my job in the gym in order to show all the enthusiasts and fans great boxing in the ring.”

Usyk’s Heavyweight bow against Spong is part of a huge night of action in Chicago as unified Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill defends her WBA and WBC titles against old foe Erica Farias, unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr returns to action against Morgan Fitch, Charles Conwell defends his USBA Super-Welterweight title against Patrick Day, an all-Chicago Super-Featherweight clash between Josh Hernandez and Giovanni Mioletti and a fourth pro outing for rising starlet Otha Jones III.

Photo/courtesy: Matchroom Boxing

Usyk out with injury; Haney to headline show on May 25

Devin Haney will headline on his DAZN debut against Antonio Moran on Saturday May 25 at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Oleksandr Usyk was scheduled to make his heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam, but Usyk was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Haney (21-0 13 KOs) announced a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA last week and now the Lightweight sensation will headline against Moran (24-3 17 KOs), the 26 year old who has stopped four of his last five opponents and was narrowly edged out by Jose Pedraza in June.

‘The Dream’ will be hunting World title action in the second half of 2019, sitting at number three in the WBC, five in the WBA, eight with the WBO and ten with the IBF, and the 20 year old Las Vegas ace will be looking to underline his lofty position in the rankings with a stellar showing in Maryland.

“It’s unfortunate that Oleksandr Usyk had to pull out because of injury,” said Haney. “I wish him a fast and speedy recovery. I’m very happy Matchroom and DAZN made the right choice in making me the main event.

“The MGM National Harbor will be the perfect place for me to show up and show out at. The fans in this area of the world really know boxing. I will put on a great show for them. I’m the future of this sport and on May 25 I will show the world how much I’ve grown inside the ring.”

A stacked card in support of Haney sees Chicago’s WBC World Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill (6-2 3 KOs) aims to unify the division against Argentine WBA ruler Anahi Sanchez (19-3), Croatian Heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic (7-0 5 KOs) faces Gregory Corbin (15-1 9 KOs) and Las Vegas Heavyweight Michael Hunter (16-1 11 KOs) will look to continue his great run of KO wins.

“We know that Devin is a future superstar but Usyk’s unfortunate injury now gives Devin the chance to headline first time out on DAZN,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Moran will give Devin the toughest test of his career so far, last year he dropped a close decision to WBO World champ Jose Pedraza and is coming off an impressive knockout victory.

“Heavyweight action remains on the card with two top 15 ranked fighters Michael Hunter and Flip Hrgovic who are both searching for a shot at the World heavyweight title and Jessica McCaskill and Anahi Sanchez face off in an exciting World title unification. It’s going to be a great night of boxing and I expect Devin Haney to steal the show in Maryland!”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing