Oleksandr Usyk has named two heavyweight greats he would be honoured to step into the ring with.
The Ukrainian delighted boxing fans with a punch perfect cruiserweight campaign followed by a Hollywood-esque heavyweight effort.
He’s now the unified champion in the top division after being undisputed at 200lb, and is already being whispered about in the corridors of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
With that in mind, he was recently asked by Vringe which heavyweight legends he’d like to have a go against.
“The first is Joe Louis. One of the best heavyweight champions in boxing history. For his time, very technical and with a strong impact.
The second is Mike Tyson. Speed, power and unstoppable. It would be interesting to fight with such an opponent.”
Interestingly both men are recorded as being smaller than Usyk, who stands at 6′ 3″ and had questions about his size in the division when he moved up from cruiserweight.
Joe Louis dominated the heavyweight scene from 1937 until 1949, completing a record 25 consecutive world title defences.
‘The Brown Bomber’ favoured stalking his opponents across the ring, suffocating their movements with his technique and ending fights – 52 of them at least – with stunning power. A fantasy fight would see Louis as the hunter against the elusive Usyk.
Mike Tyson – one of the most fearsome men to ever lace up – would attempt to smother the Ukrainian too. In fact, it was the very advice Anthony Joshua was given before his two losses against the Ukrainian. Be aggressive, be rough, and get on his chest.
‘AJ’ couldn’t, but Tyson in his prime didn’t let many men out of the ring without a scratch. ‘Iron’ Mike has praised Usyk recently, claiming he’ll give any heavyweight a hard night’s work.
Fantasy fights aside, Usyk still has his eyes on who many consider the best of his era – Tyson Fury. The pair look set to re-enter negotiations for a wintertime bout in Saudi Arabia.