Oleksandr Usyk has confirmed he will make his heavyweight debut against Tyrone Spong in Chicago on October 12. The undisputed cruiserweight champion confirmed his intention to move up a division following his stoppage success over Tony Bellew last November, a win that extended his unbeaten record to 16 fights, with 12 of those victories coming via knockout.
Former kickboxer Spong has been confirmed as Usyk’s first opponent as a heavyweight and the Surinamese-Dutchman is also unbeaten in his 14 professional bouts, a run that includes last weekend’s victory over Jeyson Minda. Spong, who is ranked at No 4 by the WBO, is certainly someone Usyk has a lot of respect for.
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The Ukrainian said: “Spong is a fast and powerful heavyweight who has had much success in the ring. “I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title. I look forward to seeing everyone there.” The respect is certainly mutual, with Spong suggesting he will be facing potentially the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world when he takes to the ring at the Wintrust Arena.
“I have worked tirelessly during the last three years and now have the opportunity to prove my worth as a boxer against perhaps the best pound-for-pound, and most technically sound boxer in the world,” Spong confirmed. “Some may think the challenge may be too difficult, but I believe in myself, and look forward to being victorious on October 12.”