Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is moving up to heavyweight, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to see his debut in the division, as his May 25 fight with Carlos Takam has been canceled due to Usyk tearing his right biceps in training.
Breaking News: Unfortunately Usyk has suffered a bicep injury and will no longer fight on May 25. A new date for his heavyweight debut will be announced shortly— Egis Klimas (@KlimasBoxing) May 7, 2019
Eddie Hearn, who is promoting the DAZN show from MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, says that he hopes to keep the show, but we’ll have to see if it goes ahead without its planned main event.
If it does, the show will still have heavyweight prospect Filip Hrgovic in action, plus heavyweight Michael Hunter, lightweight Devin Haney, and a WBA/WBC 140-pound title fight between Jessica McCaskill and Anahi Esther Sanchez.
Usyk (16-0, 12 KO) is a highly intriguing addition to the heavyweight division. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist at heavyweight, the 32-year-old Ukrainian has largely dominated since turning pro in late 2013. He won his first world title in his 10th pro fight in 2016, taking the WBO cruiserweight belt from Krzysztof Glowacki in Poland. He added the WBC, IBF, and WBA titles by beating Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev, winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament in the process.
Last November, he faced Tony Bellew in Manchester, stopping Bellew in the eighth round. There was already talk of Usyk moving to heavyweight before that fight, and he made things official this year.
Takam (36-5-1, 28 KO) figured to be a solid first test to see how Usyk handled the new weight, and that fight could probably be rescheduled, depending on how bad Usyk’s injury really is and how long he’ll be out. Had he won, there was also talk of matching Usyk with Anthony Joshua as soon as late this year or early in 2020.