Usyk vs Chisora Launch Presser!
"Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for making it to central London today amongst the madness. We are all systems go, May 23rd, O2 Arena, huge huge Heavyweight clash between WBO No.1, the Mandatory Challenger for the Heavyweight Championship of the World Oleksandr Usyk against Derek ‘WAR’ Chisora.
"As I said, May 23rd O2 Arena, Sky Sports Box Office, DAZN across America as well, and we can’t wait for this one. It’s been a fight that was brewing for a long time, in fact Alex Krassyuk just said to me ‘you owe Usyk a drink for not going on March 28’. We might have had a major problem, but just under eleven weeks away, we’re confident this fight is going to go ahead with no problems at all.
"We had presale yesterday with The O2, it was sensational, we had Matchroom FightPass today, and we have General Sale at The O2 Arena tomorrow. Before we speak to the fighters and speak to the teams, I’m going to pass over to Sky Sports’ Head of Boxing Development Adam Smith.”
Adam Smith, Sky Sports’ Head of Boxing Development:
"This is a fantastic fight on May 23rd in London, it's been a long time coming. Derek Chisora has had a rejuvenated time in the last couple of years. Him, David and his team really fancy this massive fight. Oleksandr Usyk, it's been punch-perfect throughout his entire amateur and professional career. A wonderful fighter and an amazing Cruiserweight, Unified the belts and a fantastic victory over Tony Bellew.
"He's dipping his toes into the Heavyweight division, now he goes in with a real genuine, tough, strong fired up Heavyweight in Derek Chisora. I think it's a mouth-watering match, I think it's got a bit of everything. We will learn so much more about Oleksandr at Heavyweight. I think we'll know if Derek Chisora can get that World Title shot. He's still around and he's still firing. Fantastic times for Heavyweight boxing and another wonderful match."
Oleksandr Usyk - Kiev, Ukraine - 17-0, 13 KO's - fighting Derek Chisora in a Heavyweight clash:
“I am very happy to be back here and I really hope that this fight will take place. He’s a really big guy and he hits hard. I will train hard and I will be in the best shape for this fight and I tell you once again, I love boxing very much, I love to box.”
Alexander Krassyuk, K2 Promotions:
“Now we are back in the UK, it’s time for the Heavyweight challenge. Many people say that Derek Chisora is probably the best option for Usyk to test himself in the Heavyweights, which I do agree with. The thing I disagree with is that people say it’s going to be an easy fight for Usyk. I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be probably one of the biggest challenges of his career.
"Derek knows how to box, he knows how to move, he knows how to punch. The good news is Usyk knows how to do this as well. We all expect a great fight on May 23rd and as soon as Usyk completes his task with Derek Chisora, being Mandatory for the WBO will all expect this year he will face ‘AJ’. I think it’s going to be sold out. Hopefully nothing can stop this fight from taking place. We all pray for that.”
Egis Klimas, manager of Oleksandr Usyk:
“He’s coming up from Cruiserweight, he did everything that is possible to do in the Cruiserweight division. This island holds all of the Heavyweight belts right now. That’s why we’re here, digging. Of course now he needs to face a tough opponent, and Chisora is a good fighter with big experience and that’s why we decided to go down that road.”
Derek Chisora - Finchley, London - 32-9, 23 KO's - fighting Oleksandr Usyk in a Heavyweight clash:
"I want to thank Oleksandr for taking this fight. I am fighting one of the best fighters out there! The guy knows how to box and I can’t get sparring partners who can box like him. I will chuck whatever I can chuck. I want to take his golden ticket and I want to take what he has and make it mine. I think the way he wins this fight is by knocking me out but that is not going to happen because I am going to keep coming. I am so chuffed for this fight.
"The guy has good foot movement and If I box his way he is going to win it. I just need to land a couple of punches to slow him down and it is going to be an exciting fight. I am ready to go! I will step in them ropes, bite down on the gumshield and catch this man."
David Haye, Hayemaker Promotions:
"I think this has worked in Derek’s favour, the fight being pushed back, as it has given him an opportunity over the six month period to consistently train. We’re not talking training so he will be burnt out come fight night but periodic training. We are working on his engine, his punch quality and week by week he has improved. He has looked so good that we had to give him a vacation!
"He has done his first spar and we now have ourselves a situation with an exceptional Cruiserweight, perhaps even the best ever moving into a division where he hasn’t done anything yet. He touched on it as an amateur, but that is long range and about boxing skills.
"Derek isn’t going to try and outbox Usyk, he is going to drag him into a dogfight from the first bell. I feel he is brave enough to hold his feet because he feels he is significantly better than Derek but he is going to be in there with a completely different animal.
"Sometimes skills can be overridden by size, heart and desire. I don’t feel that Usyk has been in a rough fight which he will be in on May 23rd. We are going to cause a massive upset and I feel that Usyk has miscalculated Derek heading into this fight. who would have thought that Derek would have been in the ring with a pound for pound king in Usyk a couple of years back? Usyk does not realise what Derek is about! His coach will not allow him in sparring to do what Derek will be doing to him with 10oz gloves on. This will be a special fight."
Tickets for Usyk vs. Chisora are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £400 and £800 (VIP).
Presale tickets for O2 Priority Members from midday on Thursday March 12 via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk)
Venue presale tickets will also be available from midday on Friday March 13 via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk).
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Usyk Collides with Chisora May 23rd at the O2
LB for LB Star Faces Brit Favourite in Heavyweight War!
(March 12th) Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk will face British favourite Derek Chisora in a colossal Heavyweight clash at The O2 in London on Saturday May 23, LIVE on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made the move to Heavyweight after dominating at Cruiserweight, ending his extraordinary spell at 200lbs as the Undisputed king with a phenomenal run of victories in his opponents' backyard against Marco Huck, Mairis Breidis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist began his assault on the Heavyweight division by retiring Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago last October and continues his bid to become a two-weight World Champion when he faces an in-form Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs).
Former World Title challenger Chisora scored a devastating second round knockout over Poland’s Artur Szpilka at The O2 in July 2019, a year on from his incredible eighth round KO win against Carlos Takam at the same venue, before blitzing fellow Brit David Price in four rounds last October.
The famous Greenwich venue has become a lion’s den for Chisora in recent years, playing host to his last six fights, and the Finchley powerhouse is planning on giving Usyk nightmares in his first real test in the big boy division.
“Boxing in Manchester in 2018 was an amazing experience, now I get to do it in London at the famous O2 Arena and I can’t wait to fight in front of the British fans once again,” said Usyk. “As a Cruiserweight, I reached the highest heights as Undisputed Champion and now I am following the same path as a Heavyweight.
“I expect a real test in Chisora - he is strong, tough and resilient. I recall being an amateur and watching his fight with Vitali Klitschko. It seemed so big and far away. Now I am myself taking a fight against Chisora. I am working hard in my training camp to show a spectacular performance on May 23rd. Dear friends, I will see you soon!”
“WAR is coming,” said Chisora. “Usyk reckons he can step up and survive with the big boys. He may be the Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion of the World but on May 23rd he will find out what it feels like to be hit by a real Heavyweight. He is coming to my backyard, I’m going to remind him exactly why he hid in the Cruiserweight division and also get revenge for my boy, Tony Bellew. This will be WAR.”
"This has the potential to be one of the great O2 nights - a Heavyweight blockbuster that can only be full of drama," said Eddie Hearn. "Usyk, who has become a UK fans favourite in his own right, did it all at Cruiserweight, becoming Undisputed World Champion in just 15 fights.
"Now he attempts the same feat in the glamour division, with the big boys. Has he bitten off more than he can chew with Del Boy, who has consistently proved the doubters wrong and become one of the toughest, explosive Heavyweights in the game. Anything can happen on May 23, drop everything and don’t miss it!"
“This barn stormer fight against Usyk, the Mandatory Challenger for AJ’s WBO World title, has been talked about for more than six months,” said David Haye. “WAR Chisora had been written off by all the experts, in reality a couple of years ago people believed his career to be over and many still consider Chisora’s chances of victory on May 23rd as minute, and who can blame them?
“Derek is a fighter with 9 losses on his professional record, who will be stepping in a ring with a former Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion and 2012 Olympic Gold medallist - Usyk is a fighter found in everyone’s top five pound for pound list. On paper it's mission impossible, but in reality, WAR Chisora is preparing to bring something Usyk has never seen before, an intensity from a rock solid 119kg wrecking machine, who will bulldoze his way to a victory in his hometown.”
“Oleksandr Usyk against Derek Chisora has all the ingredients for a classic Heavyweight clash,” said Adam Smith, Sky Sports’ Head of Boxing Development. Can the supremely talented Ukrainian withstand Chisora’s relentless aggression on a red-hot night at The O2? I’ve spoken to Chisora’s manager David Haye who is massively confident that his fighter will topple the former Undisputed Cruiserweight king.
“We know all about Usyk’s class, having witnessed his dramatic battle with Tony Bellew at Manchester Arena - and a certain Anthony Joshua will be keeping a close eye on a potential foe for the future. We’ve got a real Heavyweight line-up in the coming weeks, with Dillian Whyte’s explosive encounter against Alexander Povetkin, Usyk‘s risky showdown with Chisora and then AJ takes centre stage for his huge World Title fight against Kubrat Pulev.”