Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut has been quite a long time in coming. Initially, the first man in boxing history to have won all four versions of the cruiserweight title – WBA/WBC/WBO and IBF – was to have tested the heavyweight waters against tough and experienced veteran Carlos Takam, on May 25th. An injury suffered by Usyk scuppered that bout, it now seems for good.
Russian news outlet TASS has ran a report that confirms how Usyk will box his heavyweight debut on October 12th, in Chicago, against Russian contender Andrey Fedosov, 31-3(25). Fedosov’s manager, Alex Vaysfeld, told TASS the fight is a done deal: “Fedosov will fight with Usyk in Chicago on October 12,” he said.
33 year old Fedosov is no massive heavyweight at 6’1” and he is not a huge puncher. Still, he is experienced, still quite young and Fedosov is coming off seven straight wins since losing to Bryant Jennings back in June of 2013; this corner retirement defeat being Fedosov’s sole inside the distance loss – his other two defeats coming in decision losses to Oleksandr Mileiko way back in 2004 and to Lance Whitaker back in 2010.
Last time out, Fedosov picked up a useful win that looks even better now, in his unanimous decision victory over Joey Dawejko. With wins over good fighters such as Lenroy Thomas, Lionel Butler, Darnell Wilson and Donovan Denis also on his record, it’s clear Fedosov can fight. But can he give Usyk a hard night?
This fight, arguably a slight step down from the Takam test, is a good match-up for a fine cruiserweight testing the waters up above the 200 pound limit. It’s been a long (ish) time coming, but now, at last, we can gauge how much of a realistic chance of becoming world heavyweight champ southpaw Usyk really has. We can expect the October 12 fight to go a few rounds, perhaps even all the way to the final bell.
A Usyk stoppage win would be most impressive. And as we all know, anything can happen in the heavyweight divison. Fedosov is a live underdog.