With a TKO in the ninth round during a fight that didn’t lack controversy against Daniel Dubois, Oleksandr Usyk retains his heavyweight titles and is now in search of his next opponent. The current IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion, as well as the Ring Magazine lineal title holder is now 21-0 with 14 knockouts, and is the pride of his currently war-torn nation of Ukraine.
Dubois did put Usyk on the canvas in the fifth round, but it was controversially ruled a low blow by referee Luis Pabon instead of what appeared to be a knockdown. The five minutes Usyk was given to recover certainly changed the momentum, and not much later the champion’s power and technical ability shone through.
There are a couple of mandatories for Usyk if he wants to keep all his belts. Zhilei Zhang is the WBC interim champ, and he’s fighting a rematch with Joe Joyce in September. At some point they’ll need to put a date on the books. Also Filip Hrgovic is the current #1 contender via the IBF, and they might need a mandatory as well.
And of course there are the money fights as well. WBC champion Tyson Fury is the biggest draw in the sport, and after his October money matchup with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia, another massive payday could be in the offing if both men can come to an agreement.