There’s very little doubt that Oleksandr Usyk is one of the best fighters in the world today. Having compiled an impressive 16-0 ledger with 12 knockouts in just over five years, Usyk holds all of the major titles at cruiserweight; IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO.
On November 10, Usyk continued his winning ways by stopping a brave Tony Bellew in the eighth round inside of the Manchester Arena. The fight aired on the DAZN streaming app and showed off some of Usyk’s best qualities, from his boxing ability, his patience, and his ability to finish off a tough opponent the moment he had him hurt.
Usyk has been on a special run as a of late following him winning the first installment of the World Boxing Super Series. In that time, he was able to secure victories over Murat Gassiev, Mairis Breidis, and Marco Huck. Prior to entering the tournament, Usyk also notched victories over American Michael Hunter and Krzysztof Glowacki. Very impressive resume, enough for many to label him as possibility the greatest cruiserweight of all time.
But what does the future hold for the Ukraine native? It’s no secret that Usyk has claimed his ultimate goal is to one day move up to the heavyweight ranks and become undisputed heavyweight champion as well. But whether or not he moves to heavyweight in his next fight remains to be seen.
There is some chatter going on that Usyk could be in line for the winner of this weekend’s Dereck Chisora vs. Dillian Whyte rematch, but there is even more talk that the winner could end up facing IBF, WBA, and WBO champion Anthony Joshua on April 13.
Usyk vs. Joshua is a dream fight to some, but Usyk’s handlers know all too well that he would need at least a few tune-ups before taking on such a challenge. When looking at the heavyweight ranks, there are some solid names for Usyk to test himself against.
One name that stands out is former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. With his only defeats being decision losses to Joshua and Whyte, Parker’s stock is still very high and he is coming off of a demolition job against Alexander Flores, who he stopped this past weekend.
Perhaps a guy like undefeated American Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller could give us more of a glimpse as to how Usyk would deal with a heavyweight with power, strength, and sheer size. Or would crafty Cuban Luis Ortiz be the ideal mean to really test’s Usyk’s skills at heavyweight?
When taking a closer look at the top 15 of the heavyweight ranks, other attractive names stand out, such as Philadelphia’s Bryant Jennings, undefeated rising slugger Joe Joyce, IBF #1 ranked Kubrat Pulev, WBA interim champion Trevor Bryan, contender Dominic Breazeale, and the very tough Andy Ruiz.
And we can’t even ignore the classic heavyweight brawl that took place on December 1, as WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former lineal champion Tyson Fury fought to a split-draw inside of the Staples Center. Either one of those guys would be a tremendous test, but first we would like to see Usyk take things step by step.
How far can Usyk go at heavyweight? Who knows for sure, but it will be tremendously entertaining watching this all play out.