Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13) faces a tough test when he takes on perennial contender Dereck Chisora 32-9 (23) in his second fight at heavyweight at London’s O2 Arena on May 23.
Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 33, unified all four major titles in the 200-pound division in the inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series.
In his heavyweight debut Usyk stopped fringe contender Chazz Witherspoon in Chicago last October.
Chisora promises to be a tougher test.“I am very happy to be back here and I really hope that this fight will take place,” Usyk said.
“He’s a really big guy and he hits hard. I will train hard and I will be in the best shape for this fight and I tell you once again, I love boxing very much, I love to box.”
Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions is expecting a tough fight for Usyk.
“Now we are back in the UK, it’s time for the heavyweight challenge,” he said.
“Many people say that Dereck Chisora is probably the best option for Usyk to test himself in the heavyweights, which I do agree with.
“The thing I disagree with is that people say it’s going to be an easy fight for Usyk. I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be probably one of the biggest challenges of his career.
“Dereck knows how to box, he knows how to move, he knows how to punch. The good news is Usyk knows how to do this as well.
“We all expect a great fight on May 23rd and as soon as Usyk completes his task with Dereck Chisora, being mandatory for the WBO will all expect this year he will face ‘AJ’.
“I think it’s going to be sold out. Hopefully nothing can stop this fight from taking place. We all pray for that.”
Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas added: “He’s coming up from cruiserweight, he did everything that is possible to do in the cruiserweight division.
“This island holds all of the heavyweight belts right now. That’s why we’re here, digging.
“Of course, now he needs to face a tough opponent, and Chisora is a good fighter with big experience and that’s why we decided to go down that road.”