Oleksandr Usyk says Deontay Wilder is next after Fury

By Michael Collins - 10/23/2022 - Comments

Oleksandr Usyk says he wants to begin talks with the former WBC heavyweight champion after he gets rid of Tyson Fury in their undisputed clash in the first quarter of next year.

Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) and his co-manager Shelly Finkel have expressed interest in facing Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) since their first round knockout victory over Robert Helenius on October 15th.

Deontay, who turned 37 on Friday, said that he hopes Usyk will keep his word about fighting him next. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen next for Wilder, as Usyk already has plans on fighting WBC champion Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) in four to five months from now, in February or March.

After I get rid of Tyson Fury, I’m going to talk to Wilder,” said Oleksandr Usyk to ESNEWS when told that yesterday was Deontay Wilder’s birthday.

Assuming Usyk is victorious against Fury, Wilder appears to be his next fight unless something else comes up. Usyk has already beaten Anthony Joshua twice, so he won’t an impediment to making a fight with Wilder.

What could be a problem is if one of the sanctioning bodies orders Usyk to make a mandatory defense against one of their challengers. That’s the negative side of a champion holding so many belts simultaneously. They end up getting ordered to defend against the mandatory.

The 6’7″ Wilder would be a dangerous foe for Usyk due to the power in his right hand. If Wilder lands one of his big rights on the chin of Usyk, he will go down like many of the other opponents he’s faced during his career.

Wilder has revamped his fighting style in the last year since his second loss to Fury in October 2021. Deontay has trimmed down his physique and weighed 214 lbs for his fight against Helenius on October 15th.

Wilder is now very mobile, using the ring to keep his opponents from using their weight on him the way Fury did in their last two fights. In both of those fights, Wilder weighed over 230 lbs and was stationary, which allowed Fury to use his 270+ lb physique to lean on him.

Usyk is a highly mobile fighter as well, and it would be interesting to see if he’ll be able to consistently cut off the ring on Wilder to force him to exchange. In Wilder’s victory over Helenius, he only landed three punches in the fight.

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