Oleksandr Usyk wanted to defend his WBO, WBA (super) and IBF titles versus Tyson Fury, but Fury has other plans. So, the Ukrainian ringmaster will go against Briton Daniel Dubois in Wroclaw, Poland on August 26.
Usyk is 36, and knows his window isn't infinite, so he of course wanted to get a max payday against Fury.
Instead, he will face Dubois, designated the WBA mandatory challenger, in Poland. The venue is the 24,000-capacity Tarczynski Arena.
Dubois is 25 years old, and holds the WBA “regular” heavyweight belt. The 19-1 hitter has 18 knockouts. “He is a great fighter and I do respect him, but it's my time now,” Dubois said. “I'm going to shock the world and show people how good Daniel Dubois really is.”
Usyk is 20-0: “I am very glad that we have the opportunity to organise my fight in Poland, where I won my first world title seven years ago. I want to thank the Polish people who are helping Ukraine so sincerely. Hundreds of thousands of my compatriots have been hosted by this wonderful country. Therefore, I hope that my fight will become one more opportunity for Ukrainians and people of Poland to unite and strengthen our friendship.”
Usyk was former undisputed cruiserweight champion. He bested Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021, and in the rematch last August in Saudi Arabia.
There were high hopes for an undisputed fight between Usyk and WBC world champion Tyson Fury, it was to unfold at London's Wembley Stadium in April but Fury decided to do something else.
A Usyk-Fury contest would have been the first undisputed heavyweight fight in the four-belt era. Chatter has said it would run in Saudi in December as part of an extravagant heavyweight card featuring Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder. Chatter now says likely not…
Fury has teased a showy move for his next fight, it's been speculated that an exhibition against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou could be in the cards. A trial ballon to test public perception may have been released, and it looked to my eyes that the public yawned at yet another exhibition offering.
Dubois, interestingly, has split with trainer Shane McGuigan and will now be cornered by Don Charles.
You might recall Dubois faced Joe Joyce in 2020.
Dubois took a knee in the 10th, and opted out of continuing. No smear on him, he was diagnosed with a broken orbital bone plus nerve damage to his left eye.
In June 2022 he won the WBA “regular” crown by knocking out Trevor Bryan in Miami.
In his last outing, in December, Dubois was knocked down three times in the first round but came back to stop South Africa's Kevin Lerena in the third round.