Oleksandr Usyk now set to face Chazz Witherspoon in heavyweight debut

Ruben Hill
October 10, 2019

Chazz Witherspoon has replaced Tyrone Spong as Oleksandr Usyk's opponent for his heavyweight debut in Chicago on Saturday.

Oleksandr Usyk will fight 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon in his first fight at heavyweight on Saturday after original opponent Tyrone Spong returned an adverse doping test. At least one of the positive tests was for the banned substance clomiphene, a source with knowledge of the results told ESPN. He is now riding an eight-fight winning streak since losing a shot at the NABO title against Seth Mitchell in 2012. Witherspoon has only fought twice since 2018. In addition to the loss to Mitchell, Witherspoon lost in one-sided fashion the two other times he faced a top opponent: a third-round disqualification to former world title challenger Chris Arreola in 2008 and a ninth-round knockout to former world title challenger Tony Thompson in 2009.

"I have been in training ready for a big fight, and it doesn't get bigger than this", Witherspoon said.

Usyk's Heavyweight bow against Witherspoon is part of a huge night of World championship action in Chicago as Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo and unified Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill defends her WBA and WBC titles against old foe Erica Farias.

The native of Ukraine put himself on the map and in the conscience of boxing fans when he stormed through the World Boxing Super Series by defeating Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev to not only win the tournament but become the first person in the four-belt era to become the undisputed champion at cruiserweight. Usyk put all four belts on the line in his last fight in November and almost knocked out Tony Bellew through the ring to retain all four championships.

Usyk was originally scheduled to face Carlos Takam in his heavyweight debut in May, but was forced to withdraw from that bout with a biceps injury.

As Usyk was the WBO's "super champion", he was immediately made the mandatory opponent for the victor of the December 7 rematch between Anthony Joshua and champ Andy Ruiz Jr.in Saudi Arabia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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