Oleksander’s lack of punching power and size was highlighted on Saturday night with his unimpressive 7th round stoppage victory over an out of shape and old 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon (38-4, 29 KOs) at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
What we learned tonight is Usyk is NOT the next Evander Holyfield. Usyk isn’t talented like Holyfield was, and he lacks the punching power and the pro-style of fighting to excel at heavyweight. Usyk still uses the same amateur fencing style of fighting that he employed in winning the 2012 Olympics. Holyfield was light years superior to what we saw from Usyk tonight when he moved up from cruiserweight to heavyweight in the late 1980s.
Usyk showed little punching power
Without much punching power to speak of, former unified cruiserweight champion Usyk (17-0, 14 KOs) had to use volume punching to defeat Witherspoon at the end of the 7th.
Witherspoon’s corner stopped the fight because he was simply too tired and out of shape to continue fighting. For the fans that remembered Witherspoon in his youth, he looked like he was carrying around a lot of excess baggage on his frame.
A good heavyweight like Deontay wilder, Anthony Joshua or Andy Ruiz Jr. likely would have stopped Witherspoon in one or two rounds, but Usyk didn’t possess the size to do the job. He had to take a lot of shots from Witherspoon before he wore him down and was able to stop him.
With the win, Usyk is now in position to fight the winner of the December 7th rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. Usyk will get a payday out of that fight, but that’s probably about it. After Usyk gets hi payday fight, he needs to consider moving back down to cruiserweight, because he’s not cut out to be fighting at heavyweight.
If Usyk fought in a different era in the early 1970s, his lack of size and power wouldn’t be such a problem. But right now with heavyweights being huge guys in the 240s for the most part, Usyk is too small to exist at the upper levels of the weight class. His promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA is giving Usyk a lot of hype, but he’s not showing that he’s worthy of it.
Oleksander Usyk vs Chazz Witherspoon undercard results from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois
Dmitry Bivol beats Lenin Castillo
World Boxing Association light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) defeated fringe contender Lenin Castillo (20-3-1, 15 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision. The scores were 120-107, 119-108, and 119-108.
Bivol knocked Castillo down in round 6 with a perfectly timed right hand, but that was the only time in the fight that he hurt him.
It wasn’t the type of performance from Bivol that fans will remember. In fact, the fans booed Bivol during the 12th, and they continued long after the fight was over. Bivol looked embarrassed at hearing all the boos while he was being interviewed after the fight.
Oleksander Usyk W TKO 7 Chazz Witherspoon
Dimitry Bivol W 12 Lenin Castillo
Jessica McCaskill W MD 10 Erica Anabella Farias
Movladdin Biyarslanov W UD 6 Tyrome Jones
Anthony Sims Jr TKO 6 Morgan Fitch
Charles Conwell KO 10 Patrick Day
TJ Doheny TKO 6 Jesus Martinez .
Otha Jones W 4 Eric Manriquez