Oleksandr Usyk has thrown down the gauntlet to his rivals after winning his first heavyweight fight on Saturday evening in Chicago. Usyk made his heavyweight debut at the Wintrust Arena, Chicago against Chazz Witherspoon, who was a late replacement for Tyrone Spong, and the Ukrainian stopped his opponent after seven rounds of the contest.
The 32-year-old, who last year became the undisputed cruiserweight champion by winning the World Boxing Super Series, is aiming to become just the third boxer ever to add a heavyweight world title to cruiserweight gold.
It was a solid performance from Usyk, who was giving two-and-a-half stone to his opponent, and he retains his status as the mandatory challenger to the WBO heavyweight title that Andy Ruiz Jr will defend against British star Anthony Joshua on December 7.
When asked after the fight whether he is ready to take on the likes of Joshua, Ruiz Jr and WBC holder Wilder, Usyk responded in resounding fashion. “This shows I am ready to fight them,” the 2012 Olympic champion was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “Of course if they give me this fight, I will take it.”