Usyk to face Spong in long-awaited heavyweight debut

By Rob Lancaster 4 September 2019 4
Usyk to face Spong in long-awaited heavyweight debut

Oleksandr Usyk will take on Tyrone Spong when he belatedly makes his heavyweight debut on October 12.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion had been due to have his first outing in the division in May against Carlos Takam, only for a bicep injury to rule him out of the bout in Maryland

Ukrainian Usyk, who boasts a 16-0 (12 KOs) record, has his eyes on fighting for a world title in the top division, though insists he will not underestimate the unbeaten Spong.

Born in Suriname but based in Florida, the 34-year-old - a former kickboxer nicknamed 'King of the Ring' who is ranked four with the WBO - is 14-0 as a pro, winning all but one of his outings inside the distance.

"Spong is a fast and powerful heavyweight who has had much success in the ring," Usyk said in a statement released by Matchroom Boxing.

"I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title. I look forward to seeing everyone there."

Usyk’s last fight saw him stop Tony Bellew in Manchester last November, having previously beaten Murat Gassiev, Mairis Briedis and Krzysztof Glowacki to clean up in the cruiserweight division.

His heavyweight bow against Spong will be the main event on a card staged at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

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Rob Lancaster