Boxing insider thinks he knows who Oleksandr Usyk will be fighting next year

Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew - Cruiserweight World Title Fight

Oleksandr Usyk established and may have completed his remarkable reign in the cruiserweight division in spectacular fashion against Tony Bellew on Saturday.

In doing so, he retained all four titles, as well as his undisputed tag.

Usyk, though, was forced to enter uncharted territory. For the first time in his career, his opponent looked to be thriving under the challenge of the Ukrainian.

Bellew enjoyed undoubtable success in the early rounds and embraced the deathly stare of Usyk’s wide eyes that has often scared his opponents as much as his fists do.

In turn, however, the speed, agility and pure power of Usyk took its toll on the Liverpudlian as he was sent crashing through the ropes with a shattering left hook.

The win has put Usyk in good stead to move up to the heavyweight division in an audacious attempt to further establish his dominance in the world of boxing.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live’s Boxing podcast, Steve Bunce comprehensively assumed that the current cruiserweight definitely has all the right requirements to brace the heavyweight division.

“He can compete as a heavyweight. No two ways about it,” although, he admitted that the divisions elites may prove too much to begin with.

“Can he compete against the six foot seven plus and six foot six plus Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua types? We don’t know.”

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin - World Heavyweight Title Fight

Despite this, his name has been instantly thrown into the lion’s den with talks of the 31-year-old heading straight to the top to fight Anthony Joshua.

But Bunce believes that before a fight of this ilk can happen, he must first establish himself as a heavyweight boxer. T

he perfect fight, Bunce suggests, would be Joshua’s former opponent Joseph Parker.

“People love that Joseph Parker one. He’s tall, he’s big but he’s not that tall, he’s not that big,” he said.

Dillian Whyte v Joseph Parker

“He’s a former world champion, he lost on points to Dillian Whyte in a slugfest and he lost on points to Anthony Joshua.”

The fight, he assumes, would come as early as next year with Usyk looking to conquer untested waters as soon as he possibly can.

“I can see that being a fight next year. I can see Oleksandr fighting in Britain again, because the crowd will love him, against Joseph Parker who the crowd already like.”

The sheer influence that Joshua, Fury and Wilder pose was, again, commended by Bunce.

Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew - Cruiserweight World Title Fight

“These three or four giants at the moment are yet to be beaten by ordinary men and that’s the slight problem. Right now, we think Joshua at six foot six and standing tall, and Fury and Wilder at six-foot eights and nines, they’re yet to be beaten and pushed by normal men."

However, the influence of Usyk is not to be underestimated as Bunce inferred.

“But if [Evander] Holyfield was around, and [Mike] Tyson in his peak was around, you’d think they’d find a way. So perhaps Oleksandr can find a way.”

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