Usyk despite only having one fight at heavyweight is already in talks in being next in line for the WBO-title. Many saying he’s deserving of it in terms of skill and other arguing he’s not ready in terms of leg work in the division. But one question lingers on my mind, what makes Usyk stand out among all the other contenders, what does make him special?
A resume of a champion
In terms of resume, he’s got it all. Olympic gold, world champion and a European champion as an amateur. As a pro undefeated, 7-time world champion as a cruiserweight. But it gets even more impressive when you look at how he fought for the belts, He went to 4 champions backyards and won on their home turf and capping off his campaign in cruiserweight with a spectacular knockout vs Bellew.
But that’s his resume how about his actual skillset?
He uses his jab a lot to set up a variety of different punches, he varies how hard he punches, he varies the punch placement also while having one of the best footwork in boxing.
In terms of defence he uses head movement, feints and in and out movement to confuse or make opponents hesitant and miss.
But I think what makes him special is his work rate in combination with his skillset. He sets a relentless pace and forces opponents to fight at a higher pace than usual at his lower gear, but Usyk has different gears and when he finally switches up his gear during the middle rounds of a fight he makes an already tired opponent succumb to the pressure.
So in terms of skill he’s up there with the best in the world.
So, what are some good matchups for Usyk?
There’s a lot of good matchups for Usyk. The canceled fight vs Derek Chisora was a perfect one, a fight vs a tried and true professional at Heavyweight. Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte, Alexander Povetkin are all big names who Usyk matches up well against and that are fan-friendly and exciting for fans all over the world to watch.
I know I’m arguing from the point of good matchups that are entertaining. But I do understand that there’s obviously promoters involved in making fights and some fights will never be made regardless of how exciting they would be for us fans watching the sport. It always must make sense business-wise.
But the future is looking bright for Usyk and me as a fan can’t wait to watch his next fight which hopefully will happen before the next year rolls around.
What do you think about Usyk, Does he got what it takes to become a champion in the heavyweight division?