Home Boxing News Cruiserweight division goes into a frenzy with news that Oleksandr Usyk could...

Cruiserweight division goes into a frenzy with news that Oleksandr Usyk could return

Cruiserweights, please form an orderly queue.

When news broke this week that undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 22-0 (14) could drop back down to the weight class he initially made his name in, the 200-pound division went into a frenzy.

The 37-year-old Ukrainian southpaw unified all four major world titles at cruiserweight in 2018 before heady up to heavyweight where he cemented his legacy with a split decision win over Tyson Fury 34-1-1 (24) in Saudi Arabia last month two become crowned a two-weight undisputed champion.

A rematch in already in the works for December, but Usyk is already looking ahead to new challenges in 2025.

“I think maybe after rematch, I want to go down to my weight at cruiserweight. We have spoken about that, go back down to cruiserweight and get undisputed for the second time in that division,” Usyk told The 3 Knockdown Rule podcast.

Usyk added that he doesn’t enjoy consuming all the food and supplements his body needs to bulk up to 220-pounds.

“For me, I don’t like it. Three times, cocktail and water. Protein, banana,” he said.

The cruiserweight division has moved on since Usyk exited five years ago. A new host of titleholders have filled the void, led by IBF and Ring Magazine champion Jai Opetaia 25-0 (19) who defeated Mairis Briedis 28-3 (20) for the second time on the Usyk-Fury undercard.

“I would love to fight Usyk,” Australian southpaw Opetaia, 28, told Sky Sports last month. “I’ve watched Usyk for a long time. I was a 17-year-old kid at the Olympics in London in 2012 and he won the Olympics. I’ve always been in the shadows, I’ve always been very close and now I’m starting to roll into my prime.

“I’m not a little kid anymore. Now they know. I’m on their radar. It’s a good feeling. He’s always been at the top of where I was at. He’s always been the number one seed, so to get a fight with him – I would love that.”

The 28-year-old Australian southpaw isn’t the only one angling for a shot at the best big man on the planet. Promoter Ben Shalom wants the winner of the WBO cruiserweight title fight between Chris Billam-Smith 19-1 (13) and Richard Riakporhe 17-0 (13) later this month to be standing in the opposite corner to Usyk if he moves back down in weight.

“If Oleksandr Usyk decides to come back down to cruiserweight, we could see a huge stadium fight here in the UK against the winner of Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe for the WBO world cruiserweight title,” Shalom said to Sky Sports.

“Usyk dominated the cruiserweight division before moving up to heavyweight to become undisputed champion. What he has achieved in the sport is incredible. He is a generational talent. Arguably the pound-for-pound best in the world.

“Despite his prowess, I know both Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe would relish the opportunity to test themselves against him in the ring.”