Oleksandr Usyk

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Oleksandr Usyk
Олександр Усик
Oleksandr Usyk training - 20150409 - 24 (cut).jpg
Usyk in 2015
Statistics
Real name Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk
Nickname(s) The Cat
Rated at Cruiserweight
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Reach 198 cm (78 in)
Nationality Ukrainian
Born (1987-01-17) January 17, 1987 (age 30)
Simferopol, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 12
Wins 12
Wins by KO 10
Losses 0

Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk (Ukrainian: Олекса́ндр Олекса́ндрович У́сик) is a Ukrainian professional boxer who has held the WBO cruiserweight title since 2016. As of January 2017 he is ranked as the world's best cruiserweight by The Ring magazine,[1] the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and BoxRec. As an amateur, Usyk won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, as well as bronze and gold at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships respectively, all in the heavyweight division.

Early life[edit]

Usyk was born in Simferopol, Crimean Oblast. Until age 15, he used to play association football and was trained at the SC Tavriya Simferopol specialized sports school of Olympic reserve (club's football academy). In 2002 Usyk switched to boxing. He is a graduate of Lviv State University of Physical Culture.

Amateur career[edit]

At the 2006 European Championships he won his first three matches against little-known opponents, in the semi-final he was outclassed by Russian star Matvey Korobov.

He then moved up to light-heavyweight later and won the Strandja Cup in 2008.

In February 2008, he moved up another weightclass and was sent to the Olympic qualifier in Roseto degli Abruzzi replacing European Champion Denys Poyatsyka. There he defeated world class Azeri Elchin Alizade and Daniel Price.[2]

At Beijing he easily beat world class local Yushan Nijiati (23:4) but ran into world champion Clemente Russo and lost (4:7).

He dropped down to light-heavy and captured the European Championships 2008 but later went up again.

At the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships he beat Artur Beterbiev and Teymur Mammadov to win the Heavyweight title and qualify for the Olympics.

At the 2012 Olympic Games (results) in London, Usyk won the gold medal, beating Artur Beterbiev, Tervel Pulev and Italy's Clemente Russo, outscoring him by 6-3 in Round 3.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Usyk turned pro in late 2013 at the age of 26 and signed a promotional deal with the Klitschko brothers' K2 Promotions, fighting in the Cruiserweight division.[4]

On November 9, 2013, Usyk made his professional debut by defeating Mexican fighter Felipe Romero via a fifth-round knockout. The following month he stopped 38 year old Epifanio Mendoza in four rounds. In his 3rd professional fight on April 2014, Usyk made his debut in Germany on the undercard of Klitschko-Leapai at the Koenig Pilsener Arena defeating Ben Nsafoah via 3rd-round knockout.[5] A month later, Usyk returned home and knocked out Cesar David Crenz in round 4, having knocked him down in round 3 as well.

Rise up the ranks[edit]

Usyk won his first title on October 4, 2014 after beating South African boxer Daniel Bruwer via round 7 technical knockout for the Interim WBO Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title.[6] Usyk defended the title to months later stopping 35 year old Danie Venter in round 9.[7] Usyk was ahead on all three judges scorecards at the time of stoppage.

Usyk made another defence in April 2015 against former Russian cruiserweight champion Andrey Knyazev (11-1, 6 KOs) in Kiev. After seven one-sided rounds, referee Mickey Vann finally stopped the fight in round 8 after deciding Knyazev had taken enough beating. This win kept Usyk on course to a WBO title fight against then champion Marco Huck.

In August 2015, Usyk defeated former South African light heavyweight champion Johnny Muller via 3rd-round technical knockout at the Sport Palace in Kiev, which saw Usyk control the fight with a jab. Usyk knocked down Muller twice in round 3 and although Muller protested, referee waved the fight off with one second of the round left.[8]

Usyk made a fourth and final defense against unknown Cuban boxer Pedro Rodriguez in a scheduled 12 round fight on December 12 at the Sport Palace. Usyk won the fight scoring his 9th straight knockout in as many fights, first dropping Rodriguez in round 6 with an uppercut before the fight was stopped in round 7, being knocked down again, although he beat the count. This win put Usyk at WBO's number 1 position, with a World title fight on the cards for 2016.[9]

WBO junior-heavyweight champion[edit]

Usyk vs. Głowacki[edit]

In June 2016, it was announced that Usyk would challenge undefeated Polish boxer Krzysztof Głowacki (26-0, 16 KOs) for his WBO Cruiserweight champion on September 17 at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.[10][11][12] The fight was shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.[13] On the night, Usyk outpointed Głowacki after an exciting 12 round fight with the judges scoring it 119-109 117-111 117-111 all in Usyk's favour. The decision win also ended Usyk's run of having won his opening 9 fights via stoppage. Usyk dominated the fight with a jab, eventually injuring Głowacki's eye early in the fight leading it to eventually bleed. The cut continued to bleed for the remainder of the contest. Usyk also used his dominant hand speed and footwork which helped him score the decision win.[14][15]

Usyk vs. Mchunu[edit]

Usyk announced he would be making his American debut on the Hopkins-Smith Jr. card on December 17, 2016. The fight would take place at the Forum in Inglewood, California.[16] On November 11, K2 Promotions announced Usyk would be defending his WBO title against 28 year old South African boxer Thabiso Mchunu (17-2, 11 KOs). Mchunu previously lost to Ilunga Makabu via 11th round stoppage, although being ahead on the scorecards at the time.[17][18] Usyk broke down Mchunu eventually stopping him in the 9th round. Prior to the stoppage, Usyk also knocked Mchunu down in the 6th round. In round 9, Usyk knocked Mchunu down twice in. The fight was halted by referee Lou Moret after the second knockdown. Although the fight started very slow, the fans in attendance began to boo. The pace was picked up after the first couple of rounds, when Usyk started connecting with his trademark combos. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:53. Prior to the fight, Usyk spoke of his desire to fight other cruiserweight titlists as well as fighting Anthony Joshua at heavyweight.[19][20][21]

Usyk vs. Hunter[edit]

K2 Promotions announced that Usyk would be returning on regular HBO to defend his cruiserweight world title in April 2017. He was originally planned to appear on the undercard of the Golovkin-Jacobs HBO PPV in March at Madison Square Garden, however since Roman Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras were scheduled to appear in separate fights and not fight each other, Usyk was pulled from the card.[22]

On February 12, Usyk announced that he had parted ways with long time trainer James Ali Bashir and replaced him with Vasyl Lomachenko's father and trainer, Anatoly Lomachenko.[23][24] Bob Arum announced that Usyk would be part of a triple header including Vasyl Lomachenko at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on April 8, 2017 against Michael Hunter (12-0, 8 KOs).[25] Usyk weighed 199.4 whilst Hunter came in at 199 pounds.[26] In front of a sold out crowd of 2,828, where there was majority Ukrainian fans in attendance, Usyk was taken the distance for the second time in his career and won a rather one-sided unanimous decision to retain his WBO title. Hunter unexpectedly controlled the first three rounds behind the jab. It wasn't until the fourth round, when Usyk took control of the bout using his left and connecting well to the body to win majority of the remainder rounds. Pundits thought Hunter was gifted going the distance and the fight should have been stopped by referee Bill Clancy in the championship rounds. In round 12, it appeared in the last minute, Hunter, whilst taking punches, was only standing because of the ropes where holding him up. Referee halted the fight and gave Hunter a standing 8 count, ruling it a knockdown for Usyk. All three judges scored the fight unanimously 117-110 for Usyk. Although it took him a few rounds to get into the fight, Usyk was happy with his performance and called out other titleholders, "I'm very happy with my performance,. I did what I wanted to do. He took a lot of punches. I thought maybe they would stop the fight (in the 12th round). I'd love to fight any of the titleholders, any time, any place."[27]

According to CompuBox punch stats, Usyk landed 321 of his 905 punches thrown, 36%. Hunter managed to land 24% of his punches, connecting 190 of 794.[28] The fight drew an average of 679,000 viewers on HBO and peaked at 774,000 viewers.[29][30]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
12 fights 12 wins 0 losses
By knockout 10 0
By decision 2 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
12 Win 12–0 United States Michael Hunter UD 12 8 Apr 2017 United States MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, US Retained WBO junior-heavyweight title
11 Win 11–0 South Africa Thabiso Mchunu TKO 9 (12), 1:53 17 Dec 2016 United States The Forum, Inglewood, California, US Retained WBO junior-heavyweight title
10 Win 10–0 Poland Krzysztof Głowacki UD 12 17 Sep 2016 Poland Ergo Arena, Gdańsk, Poland Won WBO junior-heavyweight title
9 Win 9–0 Cuba Pedro Rodriguez TKO 7 (12), 1:57 12 Dec 2015 Ukraine Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine Retained WBO Inter-Continental junior-heavyweight title
8 Win 8–0 South Africa Johnny Muller TKO 3 (12), 2:59 29 Aug 2015 Ukraine Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine Retained WBO Inter-Continental junior-heavyweight title
7 Win 7–0 Russia Andrey Knyazev TKO 8 (10), 2:24 18 Apr 2015 Ukraine Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine Retained WBO Inter-Continental junior-heavyweight title
6 Win 6–0 South Africa Danie Venter TKO 9 (10), 2:29 13 Dec 2014 Ukraine Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine Retained WBO Inter-Continental junior-heavyweight title
5 Win 5–0 South Africa Daniel Bruwer TKO 7 (12), 2:55 4 Oct 2014 Ukraine Arena Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine Won WBO Inter-Continental interim junior-heavyweight title
4 Win 4–0 Argentina Cesar David Crenz KO 4 (8), 2:19 31 May 2014 Ukraine Sport Palace, Odessa, Ukraine
3 Win 3–0 Germany Ben Nsafoah KO 3 (8), 1:43 26 Apr 2014 Germany König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
2 Win 2–0 Colombia Epifanio Mendoza TKO 4 (6), 2:10 7 Dec 2013 Ukraine Ice Arena TEC Terminal, Brovary, Ukraine
1 Win 1–0 Mexico Felipe Romero TKO 5 (6), 1:36 11 Sep 2013 Ukraine Palace of Sports, Kiev, Ukraine Professional debut

Personal life[edit]

Usyk is married to Kateryna and the couple have 3 children (born in 2009, 2013 and 2015).[31]

Roughly one month after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation Usyk declared (on 28 April 2014) he would never exchange his Ukrainian citizenship for a Russian one and that he considered Crimea a part of Ukraine.[32]

In 2016, answering to a question if he can still enter Crimea and his patriotic position, he stated that he can enter Crimea after each of his fight; that he doesn't like to talk politics due to the fact that people like to take words out of context and that in Russia he has many followers and he doesn't divide "our peoples as we are Slavs".[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ratings". The Ring. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Medallists by weight category" (PDF). AIBA. Retrieved November 16, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Gold gives Ukrainian heavyweight a reason to dance". Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Ivan Ivanov (September 25, 2013). "Oleksandr Usyk, an Olympic gold medalist, will make a pro debut on Nov.9". Eastside Boxing. 
  5. ^ "Usyk vs. Nsafoah in Germany". Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk stops Daniel Bruwer in 7th round - Boxing News". 2014-10-04. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  7. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk vs. Danie Venter on December 13th in Kiev, Ukraine - Boxing News". 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk stops Johnny Muller - Boxing News". 2015-08-29. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  9. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk destroys Pedro Rodriguez - Boxing News". 2015-12-13. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  10. ^ "Krzysztof Głowacki vs. Oleksandr Usyk on September 17 - Boxing News". 2016-06-22. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  11. ^ "Glowacki ordered to make defense against Usyk". Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  12. ^ "Glowacki and Usyk reach agreement, avoid bid". Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  13. ^ "Krzysztof Glowacki to defend WBO title against Oleksandr Usyk live on Sky Sports". Sky Sports. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk adds world title to Olympic gold by outpointing Krzysztof Glowacki". Sky Sports. September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Usyk dominates, dethrones Głowacki in Poland". Bad Left Hook. September 17, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk To Make His American Debut in December? - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  17. ^ "Usyk-Mchunu added to B-Hop-Smith card | Boxing News". Boxing News. 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  18. ^ "Usyk to make cruiserweight defense vs. Mchunu". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  19. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk Drops Mchunu Three Times For KO in Nine". Boxing Scene. December 17, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  20. ^ "OLEKSANDR USYK STOPS THABISO MCHUNU IN NINE ROUNDS". The Ring. December 17, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  21. ^ "OLEKSANDR USYK WANTS TO FACE ANTHONY JOSHUA ONE DAY". The Ring. December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk Return is Targeted For April Date, on HBO - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  23. ^ "Usyk Fires Bashir, Hires Lomachenko's Father as Trainer - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  24. ^ "Cruiserweight champion Usyk hires new trainer". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  25. ^ "Oleksandr Usyk to face Michael Hunter April 8 on HBO tripleheader - The Ring". The Ring. 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  26. ^ Boxing, HBO / Star. "Lomachenko, Sosa, Usyk, Hunter, Gonzalez, Gvozdyk make weight". WBN - World Boxing News. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  27. ^ "Aleksandr Usyk Decisions a Very Game Michael Hunter - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  28. ^ "Usyk retains belt with decision victory over Hunter". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  29. ^ "Lomachenko-Sosa Peaked at 886K Viewers on HBO; Averaged 832K - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  30. ^ "Lomachenko on HBO draws 832,000 viewers : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA". mmapayout.com. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  31. ^ (Ukrainian) Oleksandr's wife Katerina gave birth to a son, Televiziyna Sluzhba Novyn (8 February 2013)
  32. ^ (Ukrainian) Usyk: "I am Ukrainian, and Crimea is Ukrainian", Ukrayinska Pravda Champion (28 April 2014)
  33. ^ "Усик: "Я не разделяю народы Украины и России, ибо мы славяне"". Xsport.ua (in Russian). 1 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
New title WBO Inter-Continental junior-heavyweight champion
Interim title

4 October 2014 – December 2014
Promoted
Vacant
Vacant
Title last held by
Krzysztof Głowacki
WBO Inter-Continental junior-heavyweight champion
December 2014 – 17 September 2016
Won world title
Vacant
Title next held by
Imre Szellő
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Krzysztof Głowacki
WBO junior-heavyweight champion
17 September 2016 – present
Incumbent