After unanimously decisioning Anthony Joshua to win the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO titles, Oleksandr Usyk is now a power player in the sport’s glamour division.
Usyk disrupted Joshua’s undisputed heavyweight championship plans with a definitive win over the British boxer, and Joshua’s superfight with WBC champion Tyson Fury is off for the time being.
Usyk is ready to enter the undisputed equation and is welcoming the idea of facing the winner between Fury and Deontay Wilder, a trilogy fight that is set to take place Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on ESPN and FOX pay-per-view.
“I will definitely watch,” Usyk told DAZN. “I don’t think too much about who wins. It will be a good fight. Don’t write Deontay Wilder off since he always has the knockout punch. I will watch it for sure and I am curious who wins. I will fight with whoever holds the last belt. I don’t care if it is Wilder or Fury.”
Fury is listed at nearly a -325 favorite to beat the +225 betting underdog Wilder.
Fury and Wilder battled to a hotly contested split decision draw in 2018. Fury was knocked down twice in that fight but mostly otherwise outboxed Wilder through 12 rounds. In the February 2020 rematch, Fury left the fight out of the judges’ hands and knocked Wilder down twice in a one-sided beating that ended in the seventh after then-Wilder trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel.
Usyk is still not certain how the third fight will play out even after having 19 rounds as food for thought.
“No, I am not good at making predictions,” said Usyk. “The only prediction I give you is that I’ll have a fantastic dinner tonight.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com