Anthony Joshua watches on as Oleksandr Usyk survives a scare against veteran Derek Chisora to win their heavyweight clash by unanimous decision… so, is a shot at AJ’s WBO world title next?
- Oleksandr Usyk beat Derek Chisora by unanimous decision at Wembley Arena
- The Ukrainian endured a challenging opening spell as Chisora set the initial pace
- Chisora tired as the bout went on but provided an admirably brave performance
- Catch up with all you need to know: Latest boxing news, live action and results
In the end, the tiger tamed the elephant and proved he belongs in the land of the giants.
But not before Oleksandr Usyk was given a Halloween fright by Derek Chisora who, at 36, made the former cruiserweight king draw on every ounce of skill and will at Wembley Arena.
The Ukrainian southpaw was expected to school Del Boy, to announce himself in the heavyweight division and cement his position as the mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua.
Oleksandr Usyk earned his first heavyweight title with a points victory against Derek Chisora
Oleksandr Usyk earned his first heavyweight title with a points victory against Derek Chisora
Instead, AJ was at ringside to watch 12 gruelling rounds which ended with Usyk the winner but under no illusions about the punishing life awaiting him among the big boys.
He can take a shot, all right. And he can still box brilliantly even with an extra few inches around the waist. But is he elusive or powerful enough to cope with Joshua or Tyson Fury? Only time will tell.
Usyk was forced to weather an early onslaught and a late rally from Chisora, who did enough for the upset in the eyes of his team and former stablemate.
But the judges saw it differently – scoring it 117-112, 115-113 (twice) for the Ukrainian, who then turned his attention to AJ.
‘Hi Anthony,’ he shouted menacingly. ‘I’m coming for you, Usyk,’ AJ responded in kind.
Chisora claimed he had won the fight after containing the Ukrainian for many of the 12 rounds
Unbeaten Usyk was a heavy favourite against Chisora, who had lost nine times before the fight
They could meet soon enough, unless Tyson Fury has something to say about it. Either way, Usyk is a player in the division and Chisora still has life left in him, too.
Injury and then an inexorable virus forced these two to delay and detour from a jumping O2 Arena to this dark and empty stage.
In that time, a new Chisora was being crafted – calmer, more focused and now so disciplined that he shunned sexual pleasure for the past six weeks.
But even this version was expected to struggle against the brilliant, oft-bamboozling Usyk. Even with nearly 3st in weight to bridge, it was thought he’d be too quick, too classy. Too good.
The only lingering questions were whether he could cope against the biggest out there. And whether beefing up to heavyweight would rob him of those slick skills. Usyk insisted beforehand that if only size determined the king of the animals, the elephant would rule. Instead, it was the tiger. But the opening three minutes laid bare the battle he faced.
Stylist Usyk grew as the fight evolved and did more of the eye-catching work during the rounds
Briton Chisora made a fiery entrance and sought an explosive finish with his one-punch power
The opening three minutes did little to assuage those concerns. With his first looping shot, Chisora caught the top of Usyk’s head and sent the Ukrainian sagging against the ropes.
Another found its home as Usyk struggled to keep the underdog at bay. His footwork lacked sharpness, his punches seemed to be short of bite.
Usyk had more success early in the second as Chisora continued to march forward, beginning to find his range and a home for sharp shots.
But by the end of the session the Ukrainian was breathing heavily. Usyk was having to work so hard just to stay out of danger, but he was still getting close.
Urged on by AJ, Chisora continued to set a punishing pace for Usyk, who was still under constant barrage even if he began to make Chisora pay when he lost his shape.
This fight swas painted as boxer vs slugger but Del Boy’s jab was doing damage and he even occasionally turned southpaw. Yes, really.
Anthony Joshua watched on and even exchanged taunts with potential future opponent Usyk
Usky rated his performance as a three out of ten after taking the points win at Wembley Arena
Usyk then hit the canvas, only for the referee to rule it a slip.
The challenge for Chisora as the fight reached midway was maintaining the pace and pressure.
From ringside, manager David Haye pleaded with him to keep moving his head. ‘Frazier, Frazier,’ he screamed, urging his man to impersonate the great heavyweight of old.
Usky insisted afterwards that he will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world
Veteran Chisora looked like he had more battles to come as he fared well against his feted rival
The issue for Chisora was that Usyk was growing more settled with every round and his power shots were beginning to make more of a dent.
By the end of the seventh, it was the bigger man who was slumped against the ropes as he began to feel the pace. He was slow to clamber from his stool for the beginning of the eighth; it seemed the tide had turned irrevocably in Usyk’s favour.
The Ukrainian was unloading brutal, clean combinations, popping the head of Chisora with both hands.
Usyk had Chisora rattled at times but both men proved their bravery during an intriguing clash
Chisora looked exhausted at the end of the fight and found the skilful Usyk elusive to damage
The left hand, in particular, was tagging Chisora at will – the underdog’s feints had all-but disappeared, his punch output dropping with every session.
It seemed the finish could be nigh, only for Chisora to come again. In rounds nine and 10, he made Usyk work a lot harder once more as Del Boy emptied the tank.
Even as the fight entered its final round, Chisora kept coming and kept landing. But it wasn’t enough. In the end, class told. Just about.
Sportsmail‘s KIERAN LYNCH followed all of the live boxing action and you can relive how this gripping encounter played out by taking another look at our coverage below.
Thank you everyone for following our coverage of Oleksandr Usyk’s hugely important victory over Derek Chisora.
Chisora gave Usyk an early halloween scare in the opening rounds but Usyk is the mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua’s WBO title.
Whether his next match is against Joshua for the title though is another question.
Tony Bellew said after the fight: ‘Derek put in a fantastic performance. He’s been written off all week by everyone but he went in there and he forced the pace, got right stuck in and made it really uncomfortable for Usyk.
‘I’m not going to say the word robbery because that’s ridiculous. But it was a close fight and you couldn’t have complained if Derek Chisora walked out the winner.
‘I know Usyk is by far the better boxer but you can’t just be the better boxer and get hit twice the amount. Sometimes you have to think the output outweighs boxing sometimes.
‘But he outworked Usyk and Usyk I think got his tactics wrong. He went out there to be the tough guy with a point to prove. He showed he can take a punch and he hurt Chisora a number of times but as I said Chisora outworked Usyk.’
Sky Sports pundit Carl Froch said after the fight: ‘Not all the questions (have been answered) as you still don’t know whether he can take a real solid heavyweight power punch.
‘I don’t know whether Chisora genuinely thinks he won the fight. He won a couple of early rounds.
‘If you are scoring the fight on punches landed, he [Usyk] is the rightful the winner.
‘The movement was too good from the master technician, Oleksandr Usyk
‘I think the pace and pressure of Anthony Joshua [would pose problems].
‘He lands more effective punches on the target.’
Chisora is disappointed with the outcome of his fight with Usyk and believes the wrong man took the victory.
When asked if he felt he should have won he said: ‘Yeah, hundred percent. I was pushing the pace. Yeah, I gave a couple of rounds away but I was pushing the pace and the judges saw it in a different way.
‘I’m just disappointed with the result I’m gutted.
‘To everybody who can’t make it [to the fight], I’m gutted for everybody with what’s happening in the world. To everyone just stay safe, don’t be depressed, things will get back to normal soon, be kind to one another. This time we really need it as we’re all struggling.
‘In the heavyweight game you need to fight not box.’
Room for improvement obviously as Usyk only gives himself a three out of 10 for his performance in his post-match interview.
After the fight Usyk admitted the bout with Chisora was a real test in the heavyweight division but he expected an even ‘tougher fight’.
He said: ‘Chisora a big guy, a hard guy. I was expecting a fight like that, I was expecting even a tougher fight.
‘My plan is to go to my home, maximum time with my family. Training and improving myself.
‘Not just world champion, the undisputed world champion [is my aim].’
Many asked questions whether Usyk would be able to cope in the heavyweight division and tonight’s performances will go some way to answering that.
It was a brave effort by Chisora but he could not live with the speed of the Ukrainian who was able to hit counter punches with ease.
Usyk will hope to face Joshua but that will very much depend on any potential bout between AJ and Tyson Fury.
And the judges’ give the fight to Usyk by unaminous decision with scores of 117-112, 115-113 and 115-113
Usyk remains undefeated and what an impressive effort and in front of Anthony Joshua who could be his next opponent down the line.
It’s the last round and Chisora gives one last big effort to try and knock Usyk out but like throughout the whole fight the Ukrainian is looking comfortable and able to dodge the fists of Del Boy.
The pair shake hands and Usyk puts his arm around the shoulders of Chisora after a gruelling fight.
It was a huge heavyweight challenge for Usyk and it looks like he will prevail but a fine effort from Chisora who started well but faded in the middle of the fight.
Chisora is still going with just two rounds to save this fight and he fires off some good combinations.
He goes for an overhand right but it bounces off the Usyk gloves. Chisora tries a left hook, but Usyk dives underneath.
Chisora’s giving it everything he can and showing great spirit despite sustained pressure from the Ukrainian.
Chisora continues to drive forward and he catches Usyk with a right hand which hurts the Ukrainian.
Chisora lands right hands to body and head in the opening seconds but then swings and misses badly with another.
Usyk stiffens Chisora’s legs with a left hand, but the Brit stands firm in what was his best round in a while.
Maybe some late drama?
After Chisora’s electric start in the first two rounds, Usyk has looked better ever since and you feel it will take a knockdown for Chisora to win this.
Usyk is picking Chisora off here. Chisora still has energy to chase Usyk around the ring but can’t get close to the Ukrainian and is missing some wild punches.
We now enter the round where the Ukrainian knocked out Tony Bellew.
Chisora looked hurt at the end of the last round after a brilliant attack from Usyk.
Del Boy again tries to turn it up but Usyk is looking nastier with punches and his accuracy is very impressive.
Chisora is no longer marauding forward and is instead being caught with increasing regularity.
Chisora looks rugged and strong but he needs to try and slow Usyk down.
He makes a good attempt of this catching the Ukrainian with a couple of good shots.
But Usyk stands his ground and has huge end to the round as he explodes into life with a string of shots and Chisora’s legs look a bit unsteady as the bell rings.
Not many times in his career will Chisora have done as much chasing as this.
Chisora is the aggressor once more and looks keen to finish this match quickly as he throws a big right but again the Ukrainian moves out of the way.
Tony Bellew says he believes Chisora dominated the first four rounds, but Usyk is looking good and is starting to test Chisora’s stamina and durability with a steady attack.
Control from Usyk is brilliant to watch he is dancing around the ring now and the fire shown from Chisora in past rounds is starting to wane now.
Switching to southpaw, Chisora lands a few jabs, but Usyk looks like he has another round with some impressive counters.
Chisora throws a big right near the end of the round but it’s another energy sapping failed attempt.
The bell goes and Chisora is slower back to his corner and Usyk is gaining in confidence.
It’s all Usyk in terms of quality this round.
Chisora half-catches Usyk with another swinging overhand right but Usyk fights back with clusters of punches whenever Chisora gets through with a single clubbing shot.
Chisora’s game plan has been to finish off the Ukrainian early and he is giving it a huge effort but Usyk looks very fit and is shrugging off Del Boy’s punches.
The Ukrainian is shoved to the floor. No knockdown and Usyk skips confidently back to his corner.
Chisora is really trying to rough up Usyk and make him feel uncomfortable early.
He blasts out of his corner at the start of the third catching the Ukrainian with some good shots.
After a bit of wrestling on the ropes, referee Phil Edwards has a word with both men.
Usyk is getting more into it though. A swinging left and a swinging right from Chisora both miss and Usyk clips him with some nice counter punches.
Question is how quickly will Chisora tire and you can tell Usyk is thinking this too he’s moving around very nicely without throwing any big punches in.
Chisora tries to land a swinging overhand right but Usyk sees it coming and moves out of danger.
Del Boy catches the Ukrainian with a good right hand but Usyk is taking it well so far.
Bright start by Chisora. He lands a big overhand right early in the opener which sends Usyk bouncing backwards and he rebounds off the ropes. Another looping right hand also finds the mark.
This is exactly the sort of start Del Boy wanted.
Usyk just working things out and he lands a nice left at the end of the round.
More of this please good opening round.
Here we go, can Oleksandr Usyk take his second win in the heavyweight division or will Derek Chisora defy the odds to take victory.
Oleksandr Usyk then heads to the ring and we’re moments away from the first round
With this build-up I was half-expecting Derek Chisora to come out to Monster Mash but he makes his way to the ring to ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles. Bit of a leftfield choice!
There’s no fans in attendance but Sky put in the obligatory rendition of Sweet Caroline with a video showing fans singing the song from previous events.
But more importantly Derek Chisora is on his way for fright night’s main event
CHISORA V USYK
36 – Age – 33
London -Born – Kiev
41 – Fights -17
32 – Wins – 17
23 – .KOs – 13
9 – Defeats – 0
6ft 1in – Height – 6ft 3in
18st 3lb – Weight – 15st 7lb
74in – Reach – 78in
Orthodox – Stance – Southpaw
Next up it’s time for the main event
George Kambosos is 19-0 and is the mandatory challenger for Teofimo Lopez IBF lightweight title.
Lee Selby didn’t celebrate after the fight and he looked disappointed as if he knew he had not done enough tonight despite a spirited effort.
The scorecards read 118-110, 115-114 and 116-112. The 115-114 scorecard will raise a few eyebrows but Kambosos won’t care too much he will delighted with his victory.
After the match he sends a message to Lopez and he wants a fight to take place in Australia.
Lee Selby really need to stamp his authority in these last two or three rounds but Kambosos has looked impressive and as the last round finishes, it looks like the Australian will be the one to face Lopez.
The Welshman put in a huge effort but hasn’t done enough against an impressive Kambosos who has thrown the better punches throughout and showed no signs of tiring despite Selby’s best effort.
116-112 to Kambosos for me.
We’re into round 10 of this clash where the winner gets a mandatory title shot at Teofimo Lopez’s IBF lightweight title.
It’s been a close fight but Kambosos has shown great hand-speed and is throwing the better shots. At this stage it appears it will be tough for Selby to pick up the win with two rounds to go after this one.
Kambosos looks very confident and as though his time has arrived. Selby might need a stoppage.
One man who will be watching the main event with more interest than most – and is in attendance – is Anthony Joshua.
Usyk is currently the mandatory title challenger to Joshua’s WBO belt, while victory for Chisora would put him in place for a title shot.
So tonight could be a scouting mission for Joshua who is also eyeing up a future bout with Tyson Fury.
We’re five rounds down into the bout between Lee Selby and George Kambosos Jr and there’s not much in it.
The Australian has been more productive so far but his work so far has not been the most effective on his opponent.
Selby has looked content so far to box on the back, but in this fifth round he looks more fiery but again is struggling to connect.
Derek Chisora’s manager David Haye has been keeping a close eye on Oleksandr Usyk and Del Boy as they make their final preperations for tonight’s bout.
Haye is driving the cause for Chisora to go up against Anthony Joshua and be handed the opportunity to leapfrog Usyk in doing so.
But he knows it will be a tough fight for Chisora who goes in as the underdog but few would argue he would deserve a title shot if he takes the upset victory.
It’s now time for the co-feature bout of the evening.
Lee Selby faces George Kambosos Jr with the winner becomes mandatory challenger to Teofimo Lopez’s IBF lightweight title.
Oleksandr Usyk has a plan to conquer the land of the giants after conquering the cruiserweight division.
A victory over Derek Chisora would cement his place as mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua’s WBO title.
Should he fulfil his dream of unifying the heavyweight division, Usyk’s next goal you ask? Is to take on Hollywood.
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After four days inside the fight ‘bubble’ – and six weeks celibate before facing Oleksandr Usyk, Derek Chisora is bursting to go ahead of tonight’s fight.
Chisora, one of British boxing’s most volatile, impulsive characters, has been persuaded to live a monastic existence as he bids to secure another unlikely world title shot with victory at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.
It was manager David Haye who convinced the 36-year-old to make the sacrifices and during fight week the heavyweight has resembled a ‘caged’ animal, strolling up and down the balcony overlooking Wembley Arena.
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Marshall wins by stoppage in the seventh round in what was a fantastic performance – the best of her career to date on the big stake.
Rankin gave it her all but Marshall came off age and a sweet left hook sent her opponent to her knee and the referee called for the bell.
With this the ‘Silent Assasin’ claims the WBO middleweight championship.
Meanwhile the undercard got underway at 6pm and there are just two matches to go before the huge main event.
The night’s action got underway with Amy Tillim against Carly Skelly for the Commonwealth super-bantamweight title. It was a very equal fight and it was no surprise that the fight ended in a split draw so expect a possible rematch there in the future.
Ramla Ali made an impressive debut with a convincing victory over Eva Hubmeyer before Tommy McCarthy defeated Bigal Laggoune for the European cruiserweight title.
We are now three rounds into a battle between England’s Savannah Marshall and Scotland’s Hannah Rankin, with the former looking impressive so far.
After this Lee Selby will face George Kambosos before the main-event which is expected to take place sometime after 10.15pm.
The betting odds on Derek Chisora beating Oleksandr Usyk in the Covid-19 bubble on Saturday veer crazily between 7-1 and what looks like a publicity stunt at 80-1.
The range favouring the Ukrainian swing almost as wildly, from 1-5 to 1-33.
But one place the bookmakers aren’t going is to predict victory for Britain’s gallant old warhorse at Wembley Arena.
However young British prospect Daniel Dubois has backed Del Boy to get the unfancied win.
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Happy Halloween everyone and welcome to our live coverage of the heavyweight clash between Derek Chisora and Oleksandr Usyk.
Chisora is hoping to get a huge win tonight to put himself in line for a shot at Anthony Joshua’s WBO title.
To do that, he has the difficult challenge of disposing the undefeated Ukrainian who is favourite going into the match.
He might be underdog but Chisora might be in the best shape of his career and Usyk’s ability to take a punch will be tested.
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