Oleksandr Usyk defends his unified heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois this weekend in Poland, with the Brit hoping to become the first man to hurt and beat the elite Ukrainian.
Following his undisputed success in the cruiserweight ranks, Usyk is mixing it with the heavies and having great success. He faces his first mandatory challenger in Dubois after winning and retaining the belts against Anthony Joshua.
Should he win, fights with the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder await him before retirement.
Following his trainer, Malik Scott, predicting an early finish in favour of Usyk, Wilder told ES News he felt the same way.
“I think so too. I think he’s gonna end up with a knockout – maybe eighth round knockout, once they feel each other out and stuff like that.”
The American knockout-artist went on to say that he wasn’t certain Dubois was 100% injury-free following his last outing against Kevin Lerena in which he reportedly suffered a torn ACL.
The Brit was down in that bout from a shot on the top of the head, and clearly dazed before the leg injury played its own part. He would fight on and win by third round knockout, but the signs that he can be hurt were there.
His one career defeat was inside the distance, when he took a knee in the tenth round against Joe Joyce following some punishing jabs and straights that led to a fractured eye socket. The 25-year-old took a knee and missed the count.
Should Wilder’s prediction come to pass, it would be Usyk’s first early finish since stopping Chazz Witherspoon in his maiden heavyweight contest.