Oleksandr Usyk vs Dereck Chisora is a crossroads fight for the short-term future of boxing’s booming heavyweight division.
Former cruiserweight king Usyk (17-0) is the mandatory contender for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight title currently held by Anthony Joshua (23-1).
And if the Ukrainian southpaw emerges victorious from his match with the battle-hardened UK veteran Chisora (32-9) on Saturday October 31, he will push for a shot at Joshua’s title.
That of course would potentially push back any immediate notion of a superfight between Joshua and massive British rival Tyson Fury to unify the heavyweight titles.
So there is much at stake for what is shaping up to be a cracking showdown between the smaller, slicker Usyk and the bigger, more experienced Chisora.
Usyk vs Chisora date, time and venue
When Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn announced on September 23 that Usyk vs Chisora would go ahead as planned on Saturday October 31, there was both surprise and excitement.
Surprise that just 24 hours after the UK Government had said all major sporting events would continue to take behind closed doors for the near future, Hearn had managed to pull this off. Excitement for action-starved fight fans that one of the most eagerly-awaited matches of the year would indeed go ahead.
The fight will take place at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley and kicks off a string of Matchroom shows at the famous venue – including Alexander Povetkin vs Dillian Whyte 2 on November 21.
The main event will start between 2200 GMT and 2300 GMT on Saturday October 31, and in the United States between 1700 ET and 1800 ET.
Usyk vs Chisora TV channel and live stream
Usyk vs Chisora will be streamed live as a pay-per-view event in the United Kingdom by Sky Sports Box Office and the fight will be available to view via all major platforms. The price for the event is £19.95.
Repeats will be aired at 2300 GMT on Sunday November 1 and 0900 GMT on Monday November 2.
Streaming platform DAZN meanwhile will air the bout in the United States, and potentially other markets – it is currently also active in Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Austria and Switzerland.
The DAZN service can be live streamed live through all major platforms – including smart TVs, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, smartphones, tablets, PCs and game consoles – and costs either $19.99 for a monthly subscription or $99 for an annual subscription.
At this stage DAZN is not available in the UK, though its owners have announced their intent to launch the service globally later this year with boxing again a major focus.
Usyk vs Chisora will be screened live in Australia by Fox Sports 507. Their coverage will start at 0600 AEDT on Sunday November 1. Aussie star George Kambosos fights Lee Selby in a world title eliminator in the main support.
Usyk vs Chisora weights
Official weights for Usyk vs Chisora will be announced at the weigh-in on Friday October 30.
Usyk weighed in at 215lbs (15st 5lbs) for his last bout, his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon in Chicago in October 2019. Chisora meanwhile tipped the scales at 260lbs (18st 8bs) for his last outing – a stoppage of David Price, also in October 2019.
Usyk vs Chisora odds
Despite his lack of experience at heavyweight, Usyk is a hot favourite to move closer to a potential world-title shot against Joshua. The Ukrainian superstar is as short as 1/8 with the UK layers, while Chisora is as big as 9/2. The draw is a best-priced 33/1.
Oleksandr Usyk record and profile
Oleksandr Usyk has fought 17 times as a professional – registering 17 victories against no defeats. A total of 13 of Usyk’s victories have come inside the distance.
Usyk, who now resides in Kiev, was born on January 17, 1987 and is currently 33 years old. He stands 6ft 3ins tall and has a reach of 78ins. He weighed in at 215lbs (15st 5lbs) for his last bout, that heavyweight debut against Witherspoon in Chicago last October. Usyk claimed the expected comfortable victory but Chisora is expected to provide a much sterner test.
That move to heavyweight came after Usyk had dominated at cruiserweight, becoming the unified champion after notching an impressive unanimous decision against Russian Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series Final in Moscow in July 2018.
Usyk then crowned his career at 200lbs in impressive style by knocking out the former champion, Liverpool’s Tony Bellew, in Round 8 of a massive showdown at the Manchester Arena in November 2018.
Before those glorious swansongs at cruiser, Usyk had built a reputation as one of the world’s finest boxers, showing superbly slick skills to befuddle opponent after opponent.
His first world title came when he easily outpointed Krzysztof Glowacki in Gdansk in 2016 to claim the WBO strap. He added the WBC belt in January 2018 with another decision victory – this time against Mairis Breidis in Riga, Latvia. Then came the unification glory against Gassiev in Russia.
Interestingly Usyk also has another top heavyweight contender already on his list of victims from their time at cruiserweight – he defeated American Michael Hunter in April 2017.
Before turning professional in 2013, Usyk had been an amateur standout, taking gold at the World Championships in 2011 and then again at the London Olympics of 2012. Both successes came at heavyweight.
Dereck Chisora record and profile
Dereck Chisora, known as ‘War’, has fought 41 times professionally, registering 32 victories against nine defeats. A total of 23 of his victories have come inside distance.
Chisora, born in Zimbabwe on December 29, 1983, is now 36 years old and fights out of Finchley in London, England. He turned professional in 2007.
Chisora stands 6ft 2ins tall and has a reach of 78ins. He weighed 260lbs (18st 8lbs) for his most recent bout, a fourth-round stoppage of Liverpool’s David Price in October 2019.
After turning pro, Dereck won his first 14 bouts and in the process claimed the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles. His bubble was burst though when he dropped a unanimous decision to the now WBC, Ring magazine and lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Despite that defeat Chisora would get a shot at the WBC world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in early 2012, losing a unanimous decision to the Ukrainian great in Munich, Germany.
Chisora would later claim a European title and has since faced just about everybody there is in terms of top UK heavyweights. He lost a rematch with Fury and also went down to another British world heavyweight king in David Haye.
A defeat by Kubrat Pulev in May 2016 in an IBF world heavyweight title eliminator scuppered Dereck’s chances of another world-title shot, and he would also later face Dillian Whyte twice, losing on both occasions. The first time he dropped a close decision and the second time was ahead on two scorecards when knocked out in the 11th round.
Usyk vs Chisora undercard
Savannah Marshall’s WBO middleweight title showdown with Hannah Rankin has been rescheduled and will now be added to the Usyk vs Chisora undercard.
The fight – originally scheduled for October 17 – was postponed when Marshall’s trainer Peter Fury tested positive for COVID 19.
Heavyweight fan favourite Dave Allen (18-5-2) is looking for a new opponent meanwhile after Romanian Christian Hammer (25-6) was ruled out following a positive COVID test.
The undercard fights confirmed so far are as follows:
- Lee Selby vs George Kambosos Jr (IBF lightweight title final eliminator)
- Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin (WBO middleweight title)
- Tommy McCarthy vs Bilal Laggoune (Vacant European Cruiserweight Title)
- David Allen vs tbc (10 rounds Heavyweight)
- Amy Timlin vs Carly Skelly (Vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title)