Oleksandr Usyk is considered by many to be the dark horse of the heavyweight division in boxing.
While many have pointed to his lack of size as a slight disadvantage, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KO’s) boasts a sky-high fight IQ with plenty of experience to boot, and will present a challenge to any fighter he faces.
A decorated amateur boxer, the savvy veteran dispatched Chazz Witherspoon with relative ease, before putting on a clinic against Derek Chisora.
However, the 34-year-old hasn’t really been battle-tested at the highest level yet and, at 6ft 3in and 98kg, could be targeted by bigger and stronger athletes like Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
But that might all be about to change in the not-too-distant future as one of the biggest fights in the history of British boxing hangs in the balance.
Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, is reportedly already lining up Usyk as a replacement for Fury if he cannot agree to a step-aside deal with Wilder.
Responding to talk about a potential showdown against the hard-hitting 31-year-old, Usyk threw down the gauntlet to Hearn.
“Hi Eddie, I want money, more money,” he said in a video posted online.
It’s your turn, Eddie. While he is still holding out hope that the fight can be salvaged for August 14 in Saudi Arabia, Hearn has given Fury’s team until the end of the week to sort out his dispute with Wilder.
If that isn’t feasible, Hearn appears to have accepted the fact that he may be forced to give in to Usyk’s demands.
“I have been focusing on Plan A. The only fight we had our mind on was Tyson Fury,” Hearn said to Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel.
“We hope that that fight can still take place on August 14.
“The game changed last night where we have to have a Plan B in place, and probably a Plan C as well.
“We have a couple of different options; of course, the one that springs to mind immediately is the WBO mandatory of Oleksandr Usyk.
“They have been quite patient and I think really, we are in a situation where if Team Fury don’t get themselves together, get their act together, by the end of this week, we will have no option but to look for an alternative fight.”