Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) used his technical skills to wear down and defeat Dereck Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) by a competitive 12 round unanimous decision Saturday night at the Wembley Arena in Wembley, UK.
The scores were 117-112, 115-113, and 115-113. Boxing 247 had it close at 115-113.
Despite Usyk, 33, getting the better of the action in the last six rounds, he gave up roughly the first four rounds. And he eased off in the 11th and appeared to let Chisora have that round.
Given that Usyk had already let Chisora have the first four rounds, he didn’t have the luxury to lose more than one round in the last half of the fight without the match being scored a draw.
Chisora emptied his gas tank in controlling the first three rounds, but he had very little left after that, and the fight was lost. Dereck landed many beautiful shots in the fight, and he had more success against Usyk than the vast majority of his past opponents have.
The only thing that prevented Chisora from winning the fight was stamina. If Chisora’s conditioning were just slightly better, he would have won the fight because he was the bigger puncher of the two and landed much harder shots. Unfortunately, Chisora’s stamina betrayed him, and he ended up fading down the stretch when he needed to fight harder.
You can clearly say that Chisora should have paced himself a little more rather than expelling so much energy in the first quarter of the contest, but he seemed to lost his head. He wasn’t thinking clearly how the calmer Usyk was, as he treated the fight like a chess match and outmaneuvered Chisora.
There was a lot to like in watching Usyk tonight. He used his feet well to keep out of the way of Chisora and his power shots tonight. Chisora was trying to land big left hooks and right hands, but he was mostly ineffective with those shots.
Usyk was able to move out of the way of Chisora’s punches and then make him pay with nifty counters.
In the second half of the fight, Usyk’s left hand proved to be a potent weapon for him, as he was connecting with it often to the head of Chisora. Usyk’s lefts were snapping Chisora’s head back repeatedly and distorting his features.
Oddly, Usyk doesn’t receive more credit for his punching power because what we saw tonight was a fighter that had respectable power. With some of the shots that Usyk was nailing Chisora with, he would knock out Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury if he landed many of those same punches.
After the contest, Usyk called out WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in letting him know that he wants his mandated title shot next in 2021. It would be a big surprise to everyone if Joshua opted to fight Usyk next if he wins his December 12th fight against Kubrat Pulev.
Usyk is the World Boxing Organization’s mandatory challenger to Joshua, and he’s ranked #1 with that organization. He’s supposed to be fighting for that title next year, but Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn have both made it clear that they have other plans in mind.
They want to face WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, in a unification match.
They want two fights with Fury, which means Usyk will have to sit and wait for an entire year before he’s given a title shot against whoever emerges as the winner of the two Joshua-Fury contests in 2022.
Usyk doesn’t appear to be interested in waiting. As a result, we’re going to see him force Joshua’s hand by making him decide whether he wants to keep his WBO title by facing him or vacate it and leave it for Usyk to fight over.