Oleksandr Usyk’s first title defense as the undisputed cruiserweight champion will have him travel to the United Kingdom.
After weeks of negotiations, Usyk will fight former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew on November 10 at the Manchester Arena. The fight, for Usyk’s WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC and Ring Magazine cruiserweight titles, will be shown on the DAZN platform in the United States.
This will mark Usyk’s first bout after winning the first-ever World Boxing Super Series tournament earlier this summer when he defeated Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision. With that win, Usyk became the third-ever undisputed cruiserweight champion and first to ever hold all four major alphabet world titles at the same time.
Although both fighters have been negotiating a fight since that WBSS cruiserweight tournament finale, a recent development from the WBA almost derailed the fight. The WBA ordered Usyk to fight “champion in recess” Denis Lebedev as part of the agreement that would allow Lebedev’s “super” title be on the line in the WBSS. This agreement also gave Lebedev the opportunity to challenge for his “super” title, and by extension, the undisputed titles as well.
The news also come days after Usyk signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing with his next fight being shown on DAZN USA.
November 10 could potentially be Usyk’s retirement fight. The former WBC cruiserweight champion has stated multiple times that he retire after a fight with Usyk. Bellew vacated the WBC cruiserweight title to move up to heavyweight for two fights against David Haye.