Oleksandr Usyk versus Deontay Wilder is as an intriguing clash of styles as they come for the heavyweight division, and both men have said they would be open to making it happen in the future.
Usyk is a slick southpaw from Ukraine who has said in the past that he would rather box his opponent over twelve than cause unnecessary damage.
Wilder, from Alabama, dines out on the fact that he can end fights with one punch, often warning his opponents that they have to be perfect for 36 minutes whereas he only needs seconds.
Like Usyk, James Toney was a cruiserweight world champion. He had that honour in two other divisions, too, and was wildly tough, losing ten but never being stopped.
It’s aggression and grit that the Hall of Famer was looking at when giving his prediction to ES News. He believes Usyk is ‘too soft’ for the hard-hitting American.
“Usyk, he’s a good boxer, but he’s not aggressive. He boxes to stay safe. Wilder. Wilder no problem. For real, [Usyk] is too soft for him.”
Whilst there’s no question that boxing fans would tune in, both men have plans that are likely to take them two fights into the future.
Wilder faces Joseph Parker on December 23, a win most likely setting up a long-awaited showdown with Anthony Joshua – that is if the Brit wins on the same card against Otto Wallin.
As for Usyk, he looks to become a two-weight undisputed champion by putting his unified titles on the line against Tyson Fury’s WBC belt. That goes down on February 17, and a contractual rematch clause should see him into the seconds half of the year.