All the talk after Oleksandr Usyk’s win over Tony Bellew was that the undisputed cruiserweight champion would move up to the heavyweight division in 2019, and while promoter Eddie Hearn still thinks that he will, he does note that there are fights that could get Usyk to stay at cruiserweight.
“The Andre Ward fight, maybe the Adonis Stevenson fight, if he wins this weekend and moves up, they’re the sort of fights that could make him stay in that cruiserweight division. I think Usyk’s got his eyes on the heavyweight division. He’ll be over on December 22 at The O2 as well to watch Whyte-Chisora, as a lot of people will be, and I think he’s got his eyes on the winner of that as well.”
The good news for those who hope to see Usyk (16-0, 12 KO) move up is this: Andre Ward is retired, and Adonis Stevenson would have to move up and cross promotional lines to face Usyk. So neither of those fights seem all that likely.
As for Usyk at heavyweight, there’s a lot out there, obviously. Anthony Joshua seems to be his main goal, but that would come after testing the waters at the new weight, not right away. Even the Whyte-Chisora winner might be a bit much for a first fight at heavyweight.
So we’ll have to wait and see what Usyk does, but barring a surprise like Ward coming out of retirement to face him, it does look like he’ll be moving up.