Battle of Olympic boxing champions beckons after Oleksandr Usyk beats Derek Chisora

Usyk is the mandatory challenger for fellow London 2012 gold medallist Anthony Joshua's WBO belt, while Savannah Marshall calls out Claressa Shields after title win

By Andrew Binner

Oleksandr Usyk took another step towards a boxing world heavyweight title shot with a unanimous decision victory over Derek Chisora in London’s Wembley Arena.

After weathering an early barrage of heavy shots from his significantly heavier opponent, London 2012 heavyweight Olympic gold medallist Usyk used his superior agility to take control of the contest over 12 rounds.

“It’s a real test at heavyweight. Chisora is a big, hard guy.” the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion told Sky Sports afterwards.

“I fought his fight but I was expecting an even tougher fight.”

That victory takes the Ukrainian’s professional record to 18-0, including 13 KOs.

All Olympic champion showdown

Despite failing to land a knockout blow against Chisora, Usyk said after that he believes that he can become the ‘undisputed world champion’ of the heavyweight division.

The 33-year-old is the mandatory challenger for fellow London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua’s WBO title, and this victory strengthens his claim to a world title fight in 2021.

Joshua was watching the fight with interest ring-side, and Usyk shouted 'Hi Anthony,' purposefully at his target from the ring afterwards. The burly Brit responded: 'I'm coming for you, Usyk.'

However, Joshua has several options to pick from for his next challenger including WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Savannah Marshall issues warning

Earlier on Saturday, Savannah Marshall emphatically stopped Hannah Rankin to improve her record to 9-0 and claim the vacant WBO middleweight belt.

The Brit Olympian has now set her sights on a fight with double Olympic champion Claressa Shields, who holds world titles at middleweight and the division below.

Marshall is the only boxer to have defeated the American as an amateur, en route to the 2012 world title.

“The only reason Claressa got the belts is because she got there before me, not because she’s better than me,” Marshall told reporters after her victory over Rankin.

“I’ll tell you now she certainly isn’t and I know she doesn’t want anything to do with me.”

Elsewhere, former refugee Ramla Ali began her professional career with a dominant points victory over Eva Hubmeyer at Wembley Arena.

Fighting under Anthony Joshua’s management team, the British-Somalian super-bantamweight sealed a shutout win with a score of 60-54 after six rounds.

Olympic Channel visited Ali in 2018 to learn more about her fascinating life story, and you can watch that interview below.