Oleksandr Usyk could retire right now and he would be a lock for The Hall of Fame. Of course, as special as he is (and he knows it), as much of a born fighter (or boxer) as he is, the 34 year old southpaw from Ukraine who has been called a boxing genius will go for more glory. Yet let’s take a look at how much this incredible boxer has already achieved – and in such a comparatively short space of time.
Consider Usyk’s vast achievements after just 19 pro fights!
Usyk went pro in September of 2013 and he won his first world title, the WBO cruiserweight title, in just his tenth fight, and he did it on the road, beating Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki in Poland. Usyk then added the WBC cruiserweight title with a win over Mairis Breidis, this win also coming on the road, in Breidis’ homeland of Latvia. Usyk, by now competing in The World Boxing Super-Series, then defeated Murat Gassiev to take the WBA and IBF titles – yes, you know, on the road, in Gassiev’s home country of Russia.
That win saw Usyk also pick up The Muhammad Ali Trophy in The WBSS. After just 15 pro fights, Usyk was the first man to hold all four major belts at cruiserweight. Astonishing. Then, after taking out Britain’s Tony Bellew, in Britain (does this guy Usyk ever have the advantage of fighting at home!), Usyk made the move up to heavyweight. Just three fights later (spread out over almost two years, this partly due to the pandemic) Usyk became, this past Saturday night, a unified, three-belt ruler at heavyweight – and again he did it by beating a fighter in his own backyard!
This is a truly incredible work-rate. When we factor in all of Usyk’s amateur achievements – among them, Olympic gold, European gold, gold at the World Championships – it’s abundantly clear we are looking at, and enjoying, a very, very special fighter; sorry, boxer. Usyk has inner toughness to go with his sublime skills, but he is a fine boxer, one with a possibly unparalleled boxing brain.
And there could be more to come from Usyk. A repeat win over Anthony Joshua? Don’t go betting against it. A win over Tyson Fury? Would you wager against it? A win over Deontay Wilder? Again, why not? Usyk as the four-belt undisputed heavyweight king? This is what Usyk is shooting for.
Just think of it: after as little as 22 pro fights, Oleksandr Usyk, currently 19-0(13) might have won it ALL! Who out there doesn’t like, appreciate and wish to celebrate Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk?