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Stage is set (Picture: Lewis Mottram)

Stage finally set for Usyk vs Chisora showdown after delay due to Covid pandemic

After months of cancellations and rescheduling, Oleksandr Usyk will finally square off against Derek Chisora next weekend.

The fight was originally scheduled for May at the O2 Arena in London but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now being fought behind closed doors on 31 October.

The unbeaten Usyk is looking to replicate his dominance at heavyweight, repeating the achievements of his time as a cruiserweight, picking up all four of the major World Championships – WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC titles.

The Ukrainian Olympic gold medallist overcame his first heavyweight challenge almost a year ago, defeating American veteran Chazz Witherspoon inside 7 rounds.

Whilst being the mandatory for Anthony Joshua’s WBO World Title, Usyk will need to show that he can hold his own against the more established fighters in the heavyweight scene.

His technicality and supreme movement are a rare sight in this era of heavyweight boxing, creating a new dynamic of fights in the future.

Standing opposite to him will be Britain’s Derek Chisora.

At 36, he is entering the twilight of his career. After the brutal knockout loss to Dillian Whyte back in 2018, he has been on quite a resurgence, with a stunning knockout on Poland’s Artur Spitzka and win over fellow British heavyweight David Price all coming last year.

Chisora’s power and relentlessness is a problem for any fighter, especially a fighter not fully accustomed to the heavyweight division.

'Del boy' will be looking to knock Usyk out, with the Englishman expected to come into the ring a lot heavier than his Ukrainian opponent.

Usyk is seen as the favourite for the fight and will be seeking to dismantle Chisora as the rounds go on, aiming for a late stoppage.

The niceties at the press conference and the back and forth on Twitter will be thrown out the window when the bell rings next Saturday.

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