Oleksandr Usyk has built up a reputation for beating elite fighters in their own backyard, with seven of his victories in world title fights coming in the home country of his opponent.
Despite this, a certain Deontay Wilder has claimed on numerous occasions this year that Usyk is scared to fight him.
It should come as no surprise that the masterful Ukrainian has denied Wilder’s accusations, and said the American has to talk about him as he’s the one with the belts now.
In a recent interview with IFL TV, Usyk explained:
“He [Wilder] has to talk about me because I have the belts and he doesn’t. He has to say something that people will react to.
The fact is of course I’m not afraid of Deontay Wilder.”
A fight between Usyk and Wilder is amongst the most intriguing to be made in the heavyweight division as, even though ‘The Bronze Bomber’ would almost certainly be outboxed for the majority of the contest, his infamous power has almost always bailed him out of trouble.
For now, Usyk’s focus is firmly on his mandatory world title defence against Britain’s Daniel Dubois, which will take place at Wroclaw Stadium in Poland on August 26.
Although Dubois is a formidable heavyweight with fight ending power, Usyk is a firm favourite to emerge victorious and retain his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles.
As for Wilder, it looks increasingly less likely that he will have a fight before facing Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia towards the back end of the year.
He had been linked to an all American showdown with Andy Ruiz Jr, but negotiations appear to have reached a stalemate.