He is a solid craftsman, but many of us do still wonder, when he goes up against the tip top of the division, how will it go for Oleksandr Usyk. In the meantime, the 33 year old cruiserweight ace now doing battle at heavyweight, proves and re-proves that he is a rock-solid rep for the sport.
Check out this social media message after he defeated Dereck Chisora in London on Saturday:
Here is the release sent out by the Matchroom crew after Usyk had his hand raised after twelve rounds of hard work against Chisora:
USYK OUTPOINTS CHISORA – RESULTS FROM LONDON
12 x 3 mins WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title
OLEKSANDR USYK WUD12 (117-112, 115-113, 115-113) v DEREK CHISORA
Oleksandr Usyk passed his first major test in the Heavyweight division by outpointing Derek Chisora and winning their high-stakes clash via unanimous decision.
Ukraine’s undefeated Olympic gold medallist and former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion answered doubts about his natural size by displaying his electric footwork and razor-sharp punch accuracy against Chisora at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Usyk remains the WBO Mandatory Challenger to Anthony Joshua, who watched from ringside, and who he intends to fight in 2021.
“I was very happy to be back in the ring,” Usyk told Matchroom afterwards. “I haven’t fought for more than a year. It was a huge pleasure for me. You saw my smile when I went into the ring. I really want to thank god for this victory. Derek has big power, he has strong punches but I was prepared for it.
“I didn’t think about his boxing IQ. All I was thinking about was the boxing and what I wanted to do. I am very thankful for Derek giving me this opportunity. I am very thankful to this family and his team. I am happy. He is a good man. Anthony (Joshua), how are you? I am coming for you.”
Usyk told Sky Sports: “Chisora a big guy, a hard guy. I was expecting a fight like that, I was expecting a tougher fight. My plan is to go to my home, maximum time with my family. Training and improving myself. Not just World Champion, the Undisputed World Champion [is my aim].”
A disappointed Chisora reacted to defeat: “I feel great. I was pushing the pace. I’m just disappointed with the result, gutted. To everybody who can’t make it [to the fight], I’m gutted for everybody. In the Heavyweight game, you have to fight not box. I gave a couple of rounds away.”
12 x 3 mins IBF Lightweight World Title Final Eliminator
LEE SELBY v GEORGE KAMBOSOS JR SD12 (118-110 Kambosos Jr, 115-114 Selby, 116-112 Kambosos Jr)
Lee Selby’s lingering hopes of another World Title fight could have been ended by a split decision defeat to Australia’s George Kambosos Jr.
The former Featherweight World Champion received a generous score of 115-114 from one of the judges, but Kambosos Jr deservedly sealed victory with scores of 118-110 and 116-112, in a Final Eliminator for the IBF belt, which is currently held by Unified World Lightweight Champion Teofimo Lopez.
“I can’t get this smile off my face,” said Kambosos Jr. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I dug deep and I won a lot of them rounds. The big shots landed and I thought he was hurt a few times. That’s a former World Champion. The guy is still a very respected fighter. It was a great win. That’s two former World Champions in their backyards. I’m a road warrior. I’m a proud Aussie. I knew I won the fight. The whole time people thought I was being arrogant. I was never arrogant to him. It’s just confidence and self belief. I’m a young hungry lion. I was never arrogant to him. I respect him.
“I knew the job I would do. I’m a confident fighter and I back my ability. I thought I hurt him a few times and I thought he nearly went. He’s an experienced guy and he beat Ricky Burns in his last fight. I’m the young hungry guy coming up. That was a great win. That’s another twelve rounds in my bank. The body shots busted him up. The right hand to the body, the stiff jab to the body. I was very composed. I feel like I’m in my prime. There’s so much more work to do. I’m coming for the Unified Lightweight World Title against Teofimo Lopez. Two young hungry fighters!”
10 x 2 mins vacant WBO Middleweight World Title
SAVANNAH MARSHALL WTKO7 (1:59) v HANNAH RANKIN
Savannah Marshall became Britain’s latest World Champion by stopping Hannah Rankin in seven rounds to win the vacant WBO Middleweight World Title.
The former amateur World Champion was a class above her Scottish rival from the opening bell and kept herself on course for a potential showdown with American star and former amateur foe Claressa Shields.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” Marshall told Matchroom. “Fair play to Hannah. She’s an amazing fighter with big heart and I’ve got loads of respect for her. I’m just thrilled to bits. I knew I was good enough. I’ve always known I was good enough. The chances have just never been there for me. Thank god it came tonight. Me and Hannah sold that fight, we really sold that fight. I don’t know what it was like for her but there was no real bad blood there for me.
“With Peter testing positive two weeks ago, I thought that was just typical me! I just had to ride the wave. I think England has got the best female professional boxers. COVID was a blessing because it’s brought them all out. I’m the first female boxer to be an amateur World Champion and a professional World Champion. I beat the men. I beat the men to it. It’s just a dream.
“The pool isn’t that big at the higher weights. I’d like to go up to Super-Middleweight. I’m not really interested in Super-Welter. I think my power stays at Middle. I’ve just battered Claressa Shields’ mate. I’ve just battered her best mate. I’m sure she said Hannah was going to stop me. So what does that say about her boxing IQ. She couldn’t get Rankin out of there. Hannah is a brave fighter. Claressa couldn’t do that. Me against Shields is the biggest fight in women’s boxing. Let’s get it on. I want a piece of it.”