Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk took a step closer to a WBO heavyweight title challenge with a unanimous defeat of Derek Chisora at Wembley Arena on Sunday.
The result means Usyk, the former unified world cruiserweight champion, is now the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua’s WBO belt.
Nigerian-British fighter, Joshua, holds the WBO belt jointly with the WBA, IBO and IBF titles since 2019. The 31-year-old is scheduled to defend the WBA, IBF & WBO heavyweight world titles against Kubrat Pulev in December.
And regardless of the results of the encounter between Pulev and Joshua, Usyk says he’s not eyeing just the WBO title but the other belts as well as the WBC held by Tyson Fury.
Speaking after his fight with Chisora, Usyk said, “It’s a real test in heavyweight, Chisora a big guy, a hard guy,” says Usyk.
“I was expecting a fight like that, I was expecting a tougher fight.
“My plan is to go to my home, maximum time with my family. I want to become not just world champion, but the undisputed world champion.”
Chisora dominated the opening rounds and roughhouse tactics seemed to rattle Usyk, but the Ukraninan held firm and fought his way back into the contest.
A vicious assault from Usyk almost ended Chisora’s resistance in the seventh round, but the Brit was saved by the bell.
Chisora enjoyed a brief recovery before Usyk made sure of victory by controlling the latter rounds to secure his 18th professional victory, which the judges scored 117-112 and 115-113 twice.
Usyk only gave himself “three out of 10” for the display.
Chisora meanwhile said he was disapointed with the result.
“I feel great. I was pushing the pace,” he says. “I’m just disappointed with the result, gutted.
“I gave a few rounds away but I was pushing the pace. But the judges saw it a different way.”
Following Chisora’s defeat, many fans were forecasting that Usyk’s style would cause Joshua – who watched the fight from ringside – serious trouble.
Joshua is scheduled to fight another mandatory challenger, Pulev, on December 12 after which a “Battle of Britain” showdown between he and Tyson Fury has been mooted.