Is Oleksandr Usyk the Floyd Mayweather of the Heavyweight Division?

Published 09/20/2021, 7:17 PM EDT


In four days, Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed cruiserweight champion, will step up to his toughest challenge yet. He is now all set to challenge the two-time unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, for all the marbles.

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This is quite easily the toughest challenge of his career. As an amateur, Oleksandr Usyk racked up 88 amateur wins and 16 losses. He then moved on to professional boxing in 2013. Since then, he has won 18 bouts straight and remains undefeated.

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Over the course of his days in the cruiserweight division, he fought the toughest contenders and even secured the undisputed status.

At cruiserweight, he was simply levels above all of his opponents in terms of movement, footwork, defense, and striking.

As he now delves deeper to challenge the best heavyweight in the contemporary boxing landscape, many critics, analysts, and fans have questioned Usyk’s competence as a heavyweight.

Are Oleksandr Usyk and Floyd Mayweather similar?

In 2019, the Ukrainian champion made a switch to the highly competitive heavyweight class. He made his debut against Chazz Witherspoon and closed the show with a win by RTD.

He would then go on to fight Dereck Chisora in 2020 and won by a majority decision. Many believe his performance was simply not at par with his previous bouts. Now, many believe Anthony Joshua is levels above Chisora and that he will easily dominate Usyk on September 25.

However, contrary to popular opinion, Anthony Joshua thinks his opponent is an extremely dangerous fighter and that he is no lesser of a threat even in the heavyweight class.

Coming into this fight, there is a great level of respect between both fighters. Anthony Joshua believes the difference in weight does not make Usyk an easier opponent.

“I feel like people think because he is a weight below. Yeah, a southpaw fighter, a weight below, he is not made for the heavyweight division.

“Which I believe, if that was the case, you will never have guys like Floyd Mayweather, or you know. Six divisions champions and moved up six times. It’s all about skills,” said Joshua in a conversation with Ledley King.

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He suggested that, if that was the case, fighters like Floyd Mayweather and even Manny Pacquiao would have never been able to compete at five and eight distinct divisions.

Joshua strongly believes that it all comes down to skills and that everything else comes second.

September 25 will determine if Oleksandr Usyk is truly the Floyd Mayweather of the heavyweight division. If the undisputed cruiserweight champion can claim Joshua’s throne, he could be considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.

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Sanjit Misra

361 articles

Sanjit Misra is a boxing author at EssentiallySports. Sanjit fused this passion for writing with his love for jabs, hooks, weaves, and uppercuts and entered the realm of boxing journalism. The elegance, the science, the techniques, and the finesse of hand-to-hand combat was what initially drew him into the world of boxing.

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