Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has revealed he is not yet ready to face unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua despite cleaning out the 200-pound division and announcing plans to move up to the open weight class.
“In actuality, I have more work,” Usyk said after scoring an impressive eighth round knockout of former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew at Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
“I used to dream a lot. Becoming the heavyweight champion is not what I’m dreaming of. It’s my goal. It’s too early [to challenge for a world title against WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua].
“If you want to speak of it, speak of it. But I want to wait a little bit. I want to see things in a real light. My dream is all people will respect each other.”
Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua and put on the Usyk-Bellew clash this past weekend, was clearly impressed with the 31-year-old Ukrainian southpaw and is looking at building towards a fight between him and ‘AJ’.
Just don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.
“The fight between Usyk and Bellew was one of the biggest fights in boxing,” Eddie Hearn said.
“Not many people in the UK know about Usyk, because his fights haven’t been in front of big audiences in the UK. So it wasn’t like Haye-Bellew where it was two guys in the British market for years and years.
“But now he’s [Usyk] going to be extremely popular in the British market. Tonight it was on pay-per-view in the UK. It was on DAZN. Both of those guys, Sky and DAZN, were ecstatic with the fight.”
Joshua’s next fight is scheduled for Wembley Arena in April. It is expected he will face the winner of Dillian Whyte versus Dereck Chisora in December or possibly undefeated American behemoth Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.