Oleksandr Usyk took another step towards a world heavyweight title shot in 2021 with a unanimous decision victory over a brave Derek Chisora at Wembley’s SSE Arena.
Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, took some heavy shots from the British veteran, who weighed in almost 40lbs heavier than his opponent. The Ukrainian used his superior speed and movement to assume control around the halfway stage, wobbling Chisora and putting him on the ropes in the seventh round.
The 33-year-old was given the nod by the judges, getting two scores of 115-113 and one of 117-112. “It’s a real test at heavyweight. Chisora is a big, hard guy.” Usyk told Sky Sports afterwards. “I fought his fight but I was expecting an even tougher fight.”
Usyk moves to 18-0 (13 KOs) and is the mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua’s WBO crown. The southpaw rated his own performance against Chisora as “three” out of ten, but still believes he can become the “undisputed world champion” of the heavyweight division.
Chisora felt he “100%” deserved to win the fight. “I gave a couple of rounds away but I was pushing the pace,” the 36-year-old said. “But the judges saw it a different way. I’m just disappointed with the result and I’m basically gutted.”
Earlier on Saturday, Savannah Marshall claimed the vacant WBO middleweight crown in stunning style as she handed Hannah Rankin her first stoppage defeat.
The Hartlepool fighter was on top throughout against her Scottish opponent at the SSE Arena, and stepped on the gas in the seventh of the scheduled 10 rounds. A pair of brutal body shots forced Rankin to her knees, and although she got back up, referee Phil Edwards waved the fight off.
Marshall improved her record to 9-0 and now has her sights set on Claressa Shields, an Olympic gold medallist who holds world titles at middleweight and the division below. The Amrican fighter is 10-0 as a professional but suffered her only amateur defeat against Marshall, who beat Shields en route to winning the 2012 world title..
“The only reason Claressa got the belts is because she got there before me, not because she’s better than me,” Marshall said. “I’ll tell you now she certainly isn’t and I know she doesn’t want anything to do with me.”