Undisputed cruiserweight champion and pound-for-pound contender Oleksandr Usyk still hasn’t made up his mind on what’s coming next, and a move up to heavyweight is far from certain.
While Usyk (16-0, 12 KO) has done pretty much everything possible at cruiserweight, he could remain in the division for a March bout with Denis Lebedev, a longtime contender and titleholder, according to Eddie Hearn via ESPN.com.
Hearn also says there have been some talks about a fight later in 2019 at cruiserweight against current light heavyweight titleholder Artur Beterbiev, which could be plenty intriguing.
The option to go up to heavyweight is still there, too. Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz have been mentioned as possible opponents, with the ultimate goal a shot at a world title, probably against Anthony Joshua. But while that move up seemed like almost a certainty following Usyk’s Nov. 10 win over Tony Bellew, it now appears it could be delayed until later in 2019, or even into 2020.
Whatever’s next for Usyk, plenty of eyes will be on him. He’s one of the best fighters in the world today and on a phenomenal run, and even if it doesn’t happen right away — which it still could, mind you — his inevitable move to heavyweight is one of the most intriguing stories in the sport.