Technocrat Usyk looked too light to pose a threat to Joshua

JEFF POWELL: Technocrat Oleksandr Usyk looked too light and under-powered against veteran Derek Chisora to pose a threat to Anthony Joshua in the heavyweight division

  • Oleksandr Usyk beat Derek Chisora by unanimous decision at Wembley Arena 
  • The Ukrainian endured a challenging opening spell as Chisora set the initial pace
  • Chisora tired as the bout went on but provided an admirably brave performance
  • While Usyk impressed, he did not look like he would trouble Anthony Joshua 

The curious spectacle of the charging elephant in the room being led a merry dance by a tormenting mouse did nothing to dispel the perception that Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are the two best heavyweights in the world.

Nor that Deontay Wilder is No 3, dearly though Joshua’s promoter would like to ‘park’ the American while the ‘serious’ heavies get on with making the big bucks as elite boxing rumbles on through lockdown.

That wish is understandable, since Eddie Hearn also takes care of business for Oleksandr Usyk. All the more so since on Saturday the Ukrainian technocrat looked too light and under-powered to pose a threat to Joshua, a happy spectator at ringside.

Oleksandr Usyk earned his first heavyweight win with a points victory against Derek Chisora 

Anthony Joshua watched on and even exchanged taunts with potential future opponent Usyk

Usyk danced Derek Chisora to distraction and defeat easily enough. That it took him the full 12 rounds to do so may result in a longer wait before Joshua and Fury finally get their blockbuster act together.

Joshua saw nothing at Wembley Arena to convince him that he would be wise to vacate his WBO title rather than fight against Usyk, his mandatory challenger for that belt.

It has always been Joshua’s ambition to become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis. To achieve that he needs to take all his major titles — WBA, IBF as well as WBO — into battle against WBC champion Fury.

Usyk needed 12 rounds and Joshua will not have departed worried by the performance

AJ will now be more inclined to deal with Usyk in the spring, keeping the Gypsy King on ice until next summer. 

There was a clue to that thinking when Joshua said: ‘I came to study my future opponent.’

That will not be Chisora, gallantly though he kept going to the end. ‘I thought I did enough forcing in the fight to get the decision,’ he said. The judges disagreed, although the two scoring it 115-113 to Usyk were so over-generous to Chisora that if they had given him one more round it would have been a majority draw. 

The third card of 117-112 was a closer reflection.

Meanwhile, Joshua’s clash with Kubrat Pulev at London’s O2 Arena on December 12 could be moved abroad after the new Covid rules all but ruled out the return of fans. 

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: ‘The lockdown news is heartbreaking. We will try to have fans at the AJ fight but we could take it somewhere internationally.’

Chisora claimed he had won the fight after containing the Ukrainian for many of the 12 rounds

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