The long wait is over.
The much-anticipated World Boxing Super Series kicked off on September 9 with top-ranked cruiserweight and WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk advancing to the semifinals of the eight-man cruiserweight tournament. Usyk stopped Marco Huck in the 10th round to pick the TKO win.
Usyk didn't have to struggle much in the fight, and even though Huck held his own at times, there wasn't much stopping the WBO champion from getting his first stoppage win since last year. Usyk mauled Huck throughout the entire 10th round, and as Huck was battered, beaten and wobbly for two minutes, the referee waved it off late in the round to give the win to Usyk. The win was Usyk's third WBO title defense and just the 13th fight in Usyk's career.
The winner of this cruiserweight tournament, and the WBSS super middleweight tournament, takes home the Muhammad Ali trophy and the world titles each boxer in the tournament has as each fight in the WBSS is also essentially a world title fight. Usyk won't have to wait long to hear who he'll face in the semifinals. Fourth-ranked Mairis Briedis, the WBC cruiserweight champion, and Mike Perez will fight on September 30 in Latvia and the winner, presumably the WBC champion after the fight, will face Usyk sometime early next year.
The next fight in the Super Series is the first super middleweight fight between Callum Smith and Erik Skoglund. That fight, which takes place on September 16 in Liverpool, England, will be for the special WBC Diamond belt.