Oleksandr Usyk's heavyweight debut was nothing but a success after a turbulent fight week.
In his long-awaited pro debut in the sport's heavies division, Usyk methodically broke down last-minute replacement Chazz Witherspoon, stopping him after seven rounds. This was Usyk's first fight since knocking out Tony Bellew back in November 2018, retaining his numerous cruiserweight titles.
Usyk thoroughly outclassed Witherspoon from the start of the fight, choosing spots to attack Witherspoon with big 1-2 combinations. With Witherspoon able to throw as many as a handful of punches per round, Usyk got more confident as the fight progressed and started letting his hands go, starting with the fourth round onwards. After the seventh round, Witherspoon, who appeared to had blood coming out of his mouth, did not come out for the eighth round and so the fight was stopped.
This year has been a crazy one for Usyk, the sport's only undisputed WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion. He was originally supposed to fight Carlos Takam this past May, but Usyk suffered a bicep injury that delayed his heavyweight debut. Usyk was then slated to fight Tyrone Spong, but it was revealed during fight week that Spong had failed a drug test.
Usyk will now look to set his sights towards a heavyweight title in 2020. Usyk, the mandatory challenger to Andy Ruiz Jr.'s WBO heavyweight title, has publicly stated his interest in facing the likes of Anthony Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the past, but will likely wait to see what happens in the rematch between Ruiz and Joshua taking place in December in Saudi Arabia before his next fight is announced.
Also on the card were two world title bouts with both champions succesfuly defending their respective titles. In the first world title fight, Jessica McCaskill retained her WBA and WBC junior welterweight titles against Erica Farias by majority decision in a rematch of their 2018 fight that also took place in Chicago. In the co-main event, Dmitry Bivol easily dominated Lenin Castillo en route to a unanimous decision win and retained his WBA light heavyweight championship.
Matchroom Boxing USA on DAZN (10/12) Results from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago:
- Oleksandr Usyk defeated Chazz Witherspoon by TKO, round 7, 3:00
- Dmitry Bivol defeated Lenin Castillo by unanimous decision (120-107, 119-108, 119-108) to retain the WBA light heavyweight title
- Otha Jones III defeated Eric Manriquez by majority decision (38-38, 39-37, 40-36)
- Jessica McCaskill defeated Erica Farias by majority decision (94-94, 97-91, 96-92) to retain the unified WBA and WBC Female junior welterweight titles
- Movladdin Biyarslanov defeated Tyrome Jones by unanimous decision (58-56, 59-55, 59-55)
- Anthony Sims Jr. defeated Morgan Fitch by TKO, round 6, 2:18
- Charles Conwell defeated Patrick Day by KO, round 10, 1:46 to retain the USBA junior middleweight title
- TJ Doheny defeated Jesus Martinez by TKO, round 5, 3:00
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