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Michael Hunter: Oleksandr Usyk will have a tough time at heavyweight, other fighters won’t respect him

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Hunter shares some thoughts on how he thinks Usyk will fare now that he’s moved to heavyweight.

Weigh-in ceremony ahead of Povetkin vs Hunter Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Heavyweight Michael Hunter just shared some of his thoughts with Sky Sports on Oleksandr Usyk’s fairly recent move to campaign in the division, and makes it clear that he belives Usyk isn’t going to have an easy time landing big fights. In fact, Hunter says he thinks other heavyweights don’t really regard Usyk as one of them, doesn’t think Usyk has a really marketable style for the weight class, and doesn’t think he can earn the respect of the top heavies.

“I don’t see him, other than getting a mandatory, and somebody that he can probably easily outbox. But nobody is going to really respect him. He’s not going to get those big fights. None of the big guys want to lose by a paintbrush and not know how to come back in the next fight and fix it.”

Usyk is currently a mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua’s WBO belt, but thus far has had to step aside to pave way for the much bigger fight between Joshua and Tyson Fury (if that ever makes it across the finish line). There are legitimate questions about how Usyk is going to deal with these much bigger men, especially those who are also very skilled at the elite level of heavyweight, but without him getting the fights it’s difficult to say for certain.

Hunter himself is most recently coming off a knockout this past December and is looking to position himself for his own world title opportunity in the near future. But since he’s opined on the subject publicly, let’s talk about it some more. Do you think the longtime cruiserweight can really contend with the Tyson Furys and Anthony Joshuas of the world?