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Deal “in place” for Oleksandr Usyk-Tyrone Spong on October 12th in Chicago

Usyk originally intended to face Carlos Takam

Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew - Manchester Arena Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Oleksandr Usyk’s quest for an opponent for his October 12th heavyweight debut could be at an end. The Athletic reports that “a deal’s in place” for the former undisputed cruiserweight champion to face kickboxing great Tyrone Spong on DAZN provided “The King of the Ring” wins his fight with Jeyson Minda this upcoming Sunday without taking major damage.

Minda (14-1-1, 8 KO) has an entirely empty record and didn’t even last a round against Russian middleweight prospect Magomed Madiev in his sole step up. This should not be a problem for Spong (13-0, 12 KO).

Spong was one of the greatest kickboxers of the modern era, racking up a 91-7-1 (1 NC) record and knocking out the likes of Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Nathan “Carnage” Corbett, and Saulo Cavalari during a single 10-fight winning streak. He retired from the sport after a gruesome Anderson Silva-style leg break against Gokhan Saki in 2014, making his boxing debut just under a year later and knocking out his first 12 opponents.

The 33-year-old, who recently made the news after his illegal pet cougar escaped, has an empty resume when kicks aren’t involved, his most notable wins a knockout of former cruiserweight contender Santander Silgado and a split decision over Ytalo Perea in his last fight.

Usyk (16-0, 12 KO) figures to be a significant favorite, but Spong was known for his lethal hands during his time as a kickboxer. The matchup is interesting, at least.