Boxing News

USYK TO BE READY FOR JOSHUA AT HEAVYWEIGHT IN JUST TWO FIGHTS

Oleksandr Usyk could be ready to take on Anthony Joshua in just two fights at heavyweight, warned his manager Egis Klimas.

The undisputed cruiserweight champion who recently defended all 5 of his belts with an eighth-round knockout of Tony Bellew is expected to soon join Joshua and mix it with the big boys of boxing.

His manager Klimas admits the 31-year-old Ukrainian would not immediately challenge the unified champion for his WBA ‘super’, IBF and WBO belts, but will quickly become a serious contender to any of his new rivals.

Klimas has been quoted as saying “If we move to heavyweight we need to move very professionally, so it may take a few months for him [Usyk] to prepare,”

“We won’t be going for Joshua in the first fight [at heavyweight], he will need a fight or two against the bigger guys. But he will be a very, very good heavyweight. He will bring his speed and he has shown he has the power.

“The target for the team is to fight the best in the division.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn announced last week how Usyk’s team had expressed their desire for a fight with Joshua, who is set to return to the ring at Wembley on April 13.

“That’s [Joshua] the one they want,” said the Matchroom Boxing boss.

Discussing a possible fight date for a Usyk fight, Hearn went onto say: “Joshua will only fight twice next year, so it will be the one after.

“It won’t be the first one, because I think Usyk will want to fight at heavyweight first. There are loads of fights out there for him.”

“The challenge for Usyk is the size. It’s going to be very difficult for anybody to out-skill him, but [Evander] Holyfield did it, but he did it actually with toughness, which is even harder than to do it with skill.

“But I think if Usyk shows what he will show at heavyweight, and if he puts himself in a position, AJ will have no problem fighting him.

“That could end up being a huge, huge fight, but I think Usyk in the post-fight interview was very sensible, and said this division is not a joke.

“I’m not just diving in, I need to make sure that I prepare properly for challenges like that. I see him having two fights probably before he’s ready for Joshua at heavyweight.”

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