Ukranian magician vs British bulldog, a battle for the ages (sort of).
Matchroom: Usyk vs Chisora Predictions & Results
War. War never changes. Dereck Chisora changes, however. Left broken and directionless after a dreadful performance in Monaco back in 2017, it looked as if father time had finally caught up to Chisora. Yet just four months later, the brawler started a career resurgence that would lead to his biggest scalp. A definitive eighth-round stoppage of perennial top-fifteen heavyweight, Carlos Takam. A subsequent eleventh round knockout at the hands of Dillian Whyte stung, but Chisora had looked fabulous at times during the fight and was severely hampered by terrible refereeing (two separate point deductions, really Marcus McDonnell). Joining forces with former foe in David Haye as coach, Chisora has attained the juiciest body of his life and mentally looks prepared to duel from the get-go.
But victories over Artur Szpilka and David Price are chump change when compared to, arguably, the greatest Cruiserweight of all-time. Cruiserweight may be a young division, but this is a weight class that has experienced prime Evander Holyfield and David Haye. Winning the World Series of Boxing tournament, shutting down the elite of the division in comprehensive fashion, Usyk established himself as the ATG of Cruiserweight. An amusing knockout over Tony Bellew silenced many confused Matchroom casuals but Usyk knew his time at 200lbs was up. A sloppy Heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon can be comfortably excused to adapting to the big bois. The Ukrainian magician will have to ensure his defensive movement is not hampered by the extra timber, because taking a clean shot from Dereck Chisora will surely spell the end.
Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13KO) vs Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23KO)
Oleksandr Usyk will always be remembered for his immense talent and success at Cruiserweight regardless of his endeavours into the heavyweight division. Dominant victories over Cruiserweight elite in Murat Gassiev, Mairis Briedis and Tony Bellew (haha) illuminated the raw talent of the Ukrainian. Where do you even start when talking about Usyk’s skillset? His footwork is from another planet. Usyk is a master of distance, and baits his opponent in the early rounds by dancing just around the border of the pocket. Seemingly within touching distance but never close enough to be tagged, Usyk pre-occupies his opponent’s mind. At the same time, Usyk is also feinting a mixture of subtle shoulder feints and not so subtle arm punches. By identifying his opponent’s openings early in the fight, it allows Usyk to have full confidence in his offensive combinations during the later rounds.
Technically, Usyk is superb. But the success of his patient early game stems largely from his physical gifts. Supremely fast at Cruiserweight, there is little reason to believe that his hand speed will not carry up to Heavyweight. Moreover, Usyk holds the utmost confidence in his chin. Against Gassiev, prior opponents failed in applying a counter-punching strategy as they were unwilling to take opportunities due to fear of Gassiev’s power. Usyk, however, sat down hard on his shots when he opened Gassiev’s guard which stopped Gassiev’s pressure by the mid-rounds. Moreover, Usyk ate several hard shots and looked unfazed. Gassiev breaks people down by hitting really damn hard. Usyk shrugged them off like they were nothing. Crazy.
Chizzy rascal is perhaps every long-term British boxing fan’s sweetheart. A hit-or-miss fighter for most of his career, Chisora is a fighter with a ginormous heart who has suffered from mental lapses and poor choices outside the ring. On his day, though, Chisora is a top-class operator. He carries his power late into the contests and is more than game to wade into danger to secure a stoppage. Defensively suspect, Chisora relies heavily on his chin to absorb the more significant shots. This strategy allows him, however, to stay in the pocket and apply incredible pressure on his opponent. With his head effectively rested on his opponent’s chin, Chisora throws often to the body before moving back to create space for a finishing uppercut. Tenacious, powerful and dogged, Chisora can take Usyk into a brawl that will play into his power punching. Expect a rather dirty strategy.
Predicted Result: Usyk Decision
Usyk’s volume will out-work the rugged in-fighting of Chisora. As a natural heavyweight, Chisora will feel more comfortable during the early rounds, yet Usyk is of such a quality that he will be able to make his mark around the mid-rounds. Usyk’s chin is underrated while Chisora’s power has been overrated in the build-up to this clash. Both men could be dropped, though.
Result: Usyk def. Chisora // Decision (unanimous – 115-113, 115-113, 117-112)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Lee Selby (28-2, 9KO) vs George Kambosos Jr. (18-0, 10KO)
We’re still waiting for the breakout performance of Lee Selby’s career. At thirty-three years old, it seems we may never get to witness the ‘true’ Selby that has been harked on about for several years. That isn’t to say he hasn’t had a successful career. An IBF world champion who defeated middling opposition, Selby reigned at Featherweight for several years. Sadly, when Selby faced his first true challenge, he was dismantled by Josh Warrington in a strange split decision. The major issue is that Selby sits back for far too long and haemorrhages rounds from lack of activity. There is no need to for Selby to give his opponent such an easy handicap, his counter-punching strategy still requires some offensive initiative. Selby has a wonderful chin and can spy openings for his punches, but lacks the sting necessary to keep opponents humble. A beautiful left check hook is the preferred punch to damage opponents who lunge in.
Undefeated Kambosos Jr. is a brash talker with a record that is increasingly able to back it up. Selby would be by far his best win, but victories over Mickey Bey and Qamil Balla are pretty tasty for a prospect. Kambosos is a front-fighter who rushes his opponent and attempts to take their head off with extended combinations. Kambosos ends combinations with uppercuts, but more impressive, Kambosos starts combinations with a lead uppercut. It is a deceptive shot choice but it regularly catches out opponents who remain in a defensive crouch. Kambosos relies on his feet to evade danger, but his chin has looked solid up until now.
Predicted Result: Selby Decision
Selby is the better technical fighter, but Kambosos is the younger, fresher fighter who is more than willing to create a war similar to Josh Warrington’s success. Selby will be the most composed fighter in the pocket that Kambosos has faced, and will be tagged more often than he has before. If Selby targets the body, the steam of Kambosos’ pressure will ease during the later rounds.
Result: Kambosos Jr. def. Selby // Decision (split – 114-115, 116-112, 118-110)
Winner ❌ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Rest of the Card
Vacant EBU European Cruiserweight Title
Tommy McCarthy (16-2, 8KO) vs Bilal Laggoune (25-1-2, 14KO)
Tommy McCarthy is a good British level fighter who could probably progress to do bits at the European level. Technically, McCarthy is already of European calibre after winning a split decision against Fabio Turchi in Italy for the WBC International title in his last fight. Unfortunately, whenever McCarthy has faced other tough prospects, he has been emphatically beaten (in the fourth by Richard Riakporhe, and over twelve by Matty Askin). Hands down low, McCarthy employs an unorthodox jab which targets the midriff of his opponent. After shifting their guard down, McCarthy feints the body job into a loopy overhand right. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.
Bilal Laggoune will be fighting outside his native Belgium for the first time of his career on Saturday. Never a good sign. While it isn’t to say that Laggoune has been protected, he has never found much success when taking the step up from domestic opposition. A split draw to Dmytro Kucher when attempting to secure the European Cruiserweight title, and a split decision loss to Doudou Ngumbu for the Francophone Light Heavyweight title, Laggoune routinely fails at the next level. This is in part due to his style which seems to remain in one gear throughout a fight. Never really upping the pace, volume or strategy, Laggoune is happy to stand tall and throw long straight shots.
Predicted Result: McCarthy Decision
Two evenly matched fighters that should provide an entertaining affair. Neither man is destined for world greatness, but this is a decent European level. McCarthy’s physicality will give him the upper-hand up-close and will force Laggoune to fight off of his back-foot at times. If McCarthy does not press early, he will simply allow Laggoune to settle into his one-note pace and scoop up rounds.
Result: McCarthy def. Laggoune // Decision (majority – 114-114, 116-113, 116-112)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Women’s Middleweight (160)
Vacant WBO World Middleweight Title
Savannah Marshall (8-0, 6KO) vs Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2KO)
This is where my analysis will effectively just give up for the remainder of the card. Marshall has never really beaten anyone of note but she is a former amateur World champion and is the only boxer to have defeated current Middleweight champion, Claressa Shields. Women’s Middleweight is a barren division and there are few challengers for Marshall to gain experience against. Marshall is a pretty sloppy boxer but can get away with it. A low lead hand, Marshall uses her shoulder as the main form of defence and to ensure both of her hands are available for offence.
Hannah Rankin has jumped around the lower weight classes and has challenged for world titles on several occasions. Despite her failures, Rankin is a game fighter who will try to change her style mid-fight if it isn’t going her way. An infuriating issue is Rankin’s jab is used mainly as a distance gauge and is never thrown with much power behind it. Rankin does have tasty footwork and is less sloppy entering the pocket in comparison to Marshall who falls in to her shots.
Predicted Result: Marshall Decision
In regards to Women’s Middleweight, these are two top fighters. In terms of boxing as a whole, this is the mediocre entertainment at best.
Result: Marshall def. Rankin // TKO Round 7 1:59
Winner ✔️ // Method ❌ // Round ❌
Women’s Super Bantamweight (122)
Vacant Commonwealth Super Bantamweight Title
Amy Timlin (4-0) vs Carly Skelly (3-0)
A 4-0 fighter who has no wins over an opponent with a positive record, Timlin should be nowhere near a PPV card. Eddie Hearn has screwed the pooch since his attention has been divided with American endeavours. At only twenty years old, Timlin could be the next best thing since sliced bread. But I couldn’t care less for it on a £20 card.
Another 3-0 fighter who has no wins over an opponent with a positive record. This time, Carly Skelly, is a thirty-three year old fighter who only began boxing when she was twenty-nine. Remember. This is PPV quality.
Predicted Result: Timlin Decision
The fans lose in this one.
Result: Split Draw (95-95, 96-97, 96-95)
Winner ❌ // Method ❌ // Round ✔️
Ukashir Farooq (13-1, 6KO) vs Martin Tecuapetla (15-12-4, 10KO)
🚫 FIGHT CANCELLED🚫
Women’s Lightweight (135)
Ramla Ali (DEBUT) vs Eva Hubmayer (1-0, 1KO)
Ramla Ali has a cool background with her amateur boxing career representing Somalia, having moved to England as a war refugee. Managed by Anthony Joshua, this is probably the only reason how Ali has snook her way into a PPV for her debut. At least Ali has decent tape from her amateurs, showcasing her hand speed and preference to target the body. Head movement really needs to be tightened up, though, as she keeps it on the centre line when waiting to counter.
Hubmeyer is a thirty-four year old one fight professional boxer. She beat an 0-7 thirty-seven year old in the first round for her sole W. Stunning.
Predicted Result: Ali Decision
Result: Ali def. Hubmayer // Decision (referee’s scorecard – 60-54)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Matchroom: Usyk vs Chisora
2020 Boxing Season
Takeaway comments: Saved by the main event but that card was a downright stinker.