Alexander Usyk went through his toughest trials in the heavyweight division when he defeated Derek Chisor by unanimous decision on Saturday and came close to throwing for the world title.
Heavyweight Alexander Usyk defeated Derek Chisora to get close to title shot
If the former undisputed heavyweight world champion is to win a title in the second weight class, the Ukrainian has more daunting challenges ahead, but Saturday’s bout showed that Usyk can still use his boxing skills against the larger heavyweight men.
Chisora at times interfered with Usyk, who won 117-112, 115-113 and 115-113 in an event organized behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions at the SSE Arena in London, England.
It was Usyk’s second appearance in the heavyweight division since his seventh-round victory over American Chazz Witherspoon in October last year, and this victory secured him the status of a mandatory contender for the WBO world title.
Chisora’s friend Anthony Joshua holds the WBO, WBA and IBF titles, and Usyk, 33 (18-0, 13 KOs), said his goal is to win all the heavyweight belts.
“Not only the world champion, the undisputed world champion,” Usyk said, assessing his performance as three out of 10.
“My plan is to go home with my family and I will train. I haven’t boxed in a year. “
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs), 31, is set to face Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev on December 12, and the promoters’ plan is for Joshua to face WBC champion Tyson Fury’s English rival in a unification bout in 2021.
Usyk, however, wants to be the first to shoot at the WBO belt. Joshua, who won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, like Usyk, was one of the few to attend the closed London stadium formerly known as Wembley Arena.
In addition to being the first in line for the WBO title, Usyk also ranks the 2nd in the governing bodies of the WBC and WBA and the 3rd in the IBF.
This performance was proof, if proof was needed, that Usyk intends to play for the world heavyweight champions and top contenders along the way.
Chisora is a gray-haired, seasoned heavyweight who has shared the ring with some of the best heavyweights of the past decade. The Zimbabwe-born boxer from north London increased the points scored by Usyk’s Ukrainian counterpart Vitali Klitschko to points for the 2012 WBC world title and was knocked out by former WBA champion David Haye – now his manager – later that year, losing the current WBC. King Fury in 2011 and 2014.
Despite defeats in elite competitions, 36-year-old Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) was a big risk for Usyk’s young career in heavyweight. Chisora, who won three wins in 2019 after Dillian White knocked him out almost two years ago, had a big weight advantage.
Usyk, who had six defenses as world heavyweight champion, weighed 38 pounds less than Chisora (255 pounds), and the Ukrainian had to cover up and put up a lot of grueling fighting to keep the bigger man in the first two rounds.
Usyk managed to establish a long distance in the second round, but Chisora was still able to deliver some strong punches. The Ukrainian left-hander’s skills, honed with his training partner and friend Vasyl Lomachenko, former # 1 pound for pound fighter, became more evident in the third round when Chisora caught Chisora in the jaw with her left.
Usyk began hitting Chisora in the fifth round as his punches flowed across the ring. Chisora ignored another big right in the fifth, but he finished seventh stunned after Usyk opened a streak of clean shots.
Throughout his performance, Usyk showed that he can withstand the blows of the strongest heavyweight and come back with his own.
However, Chisora did not give up and had some success in the ninth round, showing a lot of heart in the later rounds.
“It was a real test in the heavyweight division, Chisora is a big guy, a tough guy,” Usyk said.
Cambosos earns lightweight title shot
George Cambosos Jr. produced a razor-sharp performance to earn a split-decision victory over Lee Selby to become one of the mandatory contenders for the Jr. undeniably lightweight king Teofimo Lopez
Cambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) closed the distance and nullified Selby’s moves with tougher punches, which helped earn 118-110 and 116-112 scores, while a third referee gave Selby a 115-114 lead.
The 27-year-old Cambosos from Sydney, Australia, fought a slimy Selby (28-3, 9 KOs), 33 from Barry, Wales, in an IBF lightweight belt eliminator.
As the fight went on, the Australian got better, and the victory creates the possibility of a lucrative fight with Lopez in 2021.
“I told you that I was too fast, too strong, too strong,” Camposos said after the fight. “Let’s do it [the fight against Lopez] in Down Under. I want a fight with Lopez, this is the fight I want, a unification shot. “
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) outplayed Vasyl Lomachenko on Oct 23, 17 and will have to defend the IBF belt against Cambosos if he wants to keep it.
It was another setback for Selby after losing the IBF Featherweight Championship to England’s Josh Warrington after four defenses in May 2018.
Cambosos, who beat Mickey Bay by split decision in New York last December, prepared for Selby in Miami and looked very good early on as he got some quick combos in the third round.
But Selby’s ballet movement limited Cambosos’s attacks, and the Welshman was able to score with a jab. Selby was in his rhythm in the fifth round, but Cambosos landed more in the sixth.
Cambosos, who has won many contact with Manny Pacquiao in the past, had a better understanding of Selby’s movements during the fight, which allowed him to land more shots in the second half.
After a successful left hook in the seventh round, Camposos shocked Selby with a chopping blow at the end of the eighth.
Selby was unable to impose himself in the later rounds, and Cambossos’ sharp jabs on the counterattack, including a big right in the last round, were enough to give the Aussie a decision.
Marshall calls Shields
On the undercard, Savannah Marshall created the prospect of a fight against Claressa Shields after stopping British rival Hannah Rankin in seven rounds to win the vacant WBO world middleweight title.
Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs), 29, from Hartlepool, England, did better against Rankin (9-5, 2 KOs), 30, from Glasgow than American Shields two years ago.
Rankin drove Shields to score, but Marshall was forced to stop after sinking Rankin to the score after some precision.
Marshall, the 2012 and 2016 Olympian, beat the Shields when they were amateurs eight years ago and wants a rematch with her middleweight rival in 2021.
“The only reason Claressa got the belts is because she got there before me, not because she’s better than me,” Marshall said. “She doesn’t want any of me.”
Shields (10-0, 2 KOs), 25, from Flint, Michigan, last fought in January when she won two world junior middleweight titles, but she also has WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight belts.