Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut on Saturday WILL go ahead as planned.
However, he will be fighting American Chazz Witherspoon instead of Tyrone Sprong.
Usyk vs Sprong was called off following an adverse finding in Sprong’s VADA drugs test and he was refused a boxing licence by the State of Illinois commission.
Usyk was originally scheduled to have his first heavyweight bout against Carlos Takam on 25 May, but injury to his bicep forced him to pull out.
He has has not been in action since stopping Tony Bellew in Manchester last November. Having amassed all four world titles at cruiserweight, his move up a division has been highly anticipated.
Usyk, however, is not daunted by moving up a division and says people writing him off only spur him on.
“Throughout my life, I have heard from many people that I will not make it. But it is not possible only for those who are not trying, I will not be listening to those who tell me ‘not to do this,” he said.
Tyson Fury is one who has shot down his potential.
“I don’t think much about [Usyk], to be honest.
“He never enters the brain waves. Never. He’s not someone I’d rather think about, to be honest.
“I could probably beat Usyk with one arm tied behind my back and I’ll let you pick which one you want me to fight with, left or right.
“Either way it would be goodnight.”
Usyk vs Witherspoon will take place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night.