Dillian Whyte doesn’t think Oleksandr Usyk is capable of beating Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.
The heavyweight contender wouldn’t be surprised, either, if British rival Dereck Chisora knocks out Usyk before the former undisputed cruiserweight champion can secure a heavyweight title shot. Whyte broke down the Usyk-Chisora fight for a segment with promoter Eddie Hearn and Sky Sports’ Adam Smith, which debuted Wednesday on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel.
“It’s a very risky fight, but if you look at their weight division and what’s happening to Chisora and stuff, obviously, because Dereck’s very temperamental,” Whyte said. “So, if you think fight Dillian Whyte, fight Anthony Joshua, fight Tyson Fury, [fight] Dereck Chisora, you know he’s going with Dereck Chisora because you know Dereck Chisora, if he hasn’t got need or stick or he’s not motivated, he can come and stink the place up.”
Whyte well knows from their two brawls, however, that a focused, inspired Chisora can complicate fights for any heavyweight in boxing.
London’s Whyte edged Chisora by split decision in an all-action, 12-round slugfest in December 2016 at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Whyte was behind on two scorecards in their rematch two years later, when he knocked out Chisora with a crushing, counter left hook in the 11th round at O2 Arena in London in December 2018.
Ukraine’s Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs), who is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s WBO title, and London’s Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) were scheduled to meet May 23 at O2 Arena. Their fight was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike Whyte’s fight versus Russia’s Alexander Povetkin for the WBC’s interim championship, Usyk-Chisora has not yet been rescheduled.
“If Dereck is motivated and he comes in to fight, he’s a danger for anyone,” said Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs), who is supposed to oppose Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KOs) on July 4 at Manchester Arena. “The man is physically strong. And one thing I like with Dereck is he’s got – there’s something about him that makes him dangerous. He doesn’t care about win, lose or draw. You know what I mean? The guy’s got 10 losses on his record and he’s still a top-10 heavyweight. You know, just something about him, whether it’s physical toughness or mental toughness. And I believe if he’s motivated and he comes in, I think he’ll knock Usyk out.
“Because listen, the two fights I had with him, keeping Dereck at bay is no easy job. And we were the same weight in the [rematch]. I was [246½ pounds], he was [246½ pounds]. And I’m a naturally big guy; Usyk is not. Obviously, he’s got the movement and athleticism, but Dereck’s a basic guy. He’s not gonna think, ‘Oh, I’m losing here on the jab. I’m gonna think.’ No, he’ll actually slug it out with Usyk. We’ve seen him do it time and time again in fights.”
The 6-feet-3 Usyk weighed in at 215 pounds for his first fight last year after moving up from the cruiserweight division. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist stopped 38-year-old veteran Chazz Witherspoon (38-4, 29 KOs) after the seventh round of that bout October 12 in Chicago, but it wasn’t an overly impressive performance from the highly skilled southpaw.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.