Usyk Plans To ‘Face Top Fighters Straight Away’ at Heavyweight

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By Tomi Pradarics

As it was reported Wednesday on by Jake Donovan, K2 Promotions Ukraine and Matchroom Boxing had a successful negotiation process last week in New York regarding the ring return of undisputed cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk.

The parties took huge steps forward in terms of the possible date of the Ukrainian wunderkind’s next fight as well as the scheduled division it may take place at, topics that made the boxing world anxious for weeks.

It is almost a certain now that Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) will get back into the squared circle in May, though the exact date has yet to be announced. The targeted division is heavyweight, and the location is scheduled to be somewhere over the pond, at least from the Ukrainian team’s point of view, in the USA.

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Alexander Krassyuk, General Director of K2 Promotions’ Ukrainian section had an exclusive interview with famous Ukrainian documentary movie director, Sergey Dolbilov following his return from the United States where he shared his views and thoughts on the matter.

“The main topic of our meeting was the return of Oleksandr Usyk. This is a subject the world is curious to learn more about. What is the next step of Usyk on his prestigious journey? Will he stay at cruiserweight and have a couple of more title defenses? Rumors circulate about a lucrative matchup against Andre Ward, or a mandatory defense against Denis Lebedev, or a heavyweight debut on April 13th against Anthony Joshua at Wembley [Stadium in London]. But we are taking our time to determine our future in a proper manner,” stated Krassyuk, before dropping the line that has since been quoted on hundreds of boxing sites worldwide.

“We are in a good position now in the process. We have answered a number of important questions in the last couple of days. We have determined that most likely, the ring return of Oleksandr Usyk will take place at heavyweight. And, most likely, this fight will be on either the 18th or 25th of May.”

The Ukrainian pugilist had a brilliant year and won The Ring’s as well as BoxingScene’s Fighter of The Year recognition in 2018. In last July, Usyk became the first fighter ever to lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy up in the air after winning the prestigious World Boxing Super Series tournament. Along the way, he unified the cruiserweight division and thus becoming only the fourth undisputed world champion in the sport in the four-belt era. The unbeaten champion finished the year in November when he traveled to London to get involved in a fun-fight that he ultimately cut short by brutally stopping former champion Tony Bellew in the beloved Brit’s official swan song appearance.

Having won all the belts and thus cleaning out the 200-pound class, the Ukrainian fighter is now considering doing something similar up north in the glamour division of the sport.

“Usyk is now in the middle of a retreating process. He is in Bali with his family and friends. In the end of his vacation, he will surely miss boxing. I do not expect it to happen shortly, though, as his previous battle [against Bellew] was very tough and intense. He wants to fight as a heavyweight,” discussed Krassyuk, who also made sure Usyk is planning to arrive to the big boys’ party in style.

“He [Usyk] wants to face the best of the division – he does not want to waste his time having tune-ups, he wants to fight top fighters straight away. And in those fights, he intends to demonstrate he is ready to conquer the crown at heavyweight.”

The Ukrainian businessman further hinted the team, alongside with Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas and his co-promoter Eddie Hearn, are now working on the opponent of the unbeaten world champion, and they will come out with a name soon.

“I suppose we will announce Oleksandr’s next opponent in the coming weeks.”

The boxing world is surely looking forward to that announcement with open ears.

You can reach Tomi Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.

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