The anticipated heavyweight debut of Oleksandr Usyk will have to wait. News has been reported how Usyk, the first man in history to win all four major belts at cruiserweight, suffered a biceps injury and has been forced to pull out of his scheduled May 25th bout with Carlos Takam. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the card will still go ahead; the under-card fights to be elevated to main event status.
Also not clear is whether or not Takam will still be the man in the opposite corner when a healed Usyk finally makes that heavyweight debut. We must wait and see. For now though, this unfortunate news brings further disappointment to the heavyweight division. We’ve seen the Anthony Joshua-Jarrell Miller fight fall apart, and we have seen lineal heavyweight champ Tyson Fury sign to face a relative no-name in his next fight, in Tom Schwarz. Added to this, we are no closer at all to seeing the big one all fans wants, in a Joshua versus Deontay Wilder showdown.
As has been pointed out by other boxing writers, it’s been a pretty poor year for the sport’s premiere weight class so far. Takam, who has been working hard for the May 25th fight, has to be given a good deal of sympathy. At his age, closing in as he is on the end of his hard-fought career, Takam has no time to waste, yet now he must wait around for Usyk to get fit and for a new date to be announced for the fight. This is assuming of course that Takam has not now lost the fight for good.
Maybe Eddie Hearn will be able to find a replacement foe for Takam (if this is what the veteran warrior wants), but this would likely see Carlos take a substantial pay cut. Fans were interested to see how southpaw Usyk would handle the seasoned and proven contender. Now fans will have to wait before getting their first sight of Usyk the heavyweight.
There is now added pressure on the Joshua-Andy Ruiz fight to be a good fight – a heavyweight fight that will restore some of the excitement the division enjoyed last year.