Fans are always most interested to see if a fine cruiserweight champ can make a successful move up in weight to the land of the giants, to the most lucrative weight class in the sport.
Over the still relatively short history of the 200 pound division (previously 195 pounds) there have been just two men who were able to win a world title at both cruiser and heavy – Evander Holyfield and later David Haye. Today we are waiting to see if two excellent fighters in Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev can join “The Real Deal” and “The Hayemaker.” But the wait will go on a little longer yet.
Usyk, who should have fought Carlos Takam in May, was forced to pull out of his big guy debut due to injury, and now Murat Gassiev (who Usyk defeated in a WBSS final last year) has been forced to pull out of his own scheduled heavyweight debut against Joey Dawejko, which was set for next Saturday (July 27). Gassiev, like Usyk, has picked up an injury; his to his shoulder.
Hopefully both guys will heal up (Usyk perhaps already has by now; the word being his fight with the tough and seasoned Takam being in line for Sept) and continue on with their heavyweight quest. Or have one, or maybe both fighters, found out how tough the going is up at heavyweight – even before having fought there?
Is the training regimen that is needed to bulk up to a decent sized heavyweight too taxing? Is the sparring too hard? Moving up from 200 pounds to today’s heavyweight division, where guys can stand over 6’6″ and scale over 250 pounds, really is a serious task. Even for special fighters like Usyk and Gassiev.
Again, hopefully neither man is too seriously injured and their heavyweight plans are still in place. Rest assured, Takam and Dawejko are ready and waiting to accommodate the two former cruiserweight kings. And welcome them to their work place.
Let’s hope both fights get done by the end of the year.