Oleksandr USYK put on a masterclass in his Tottenham feud with Anthony Joshua last September, cementing his status as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters on the planet.
The cunning southpaw overtook Joshua for nine rounds of his 12-rounder to claim his rival’s unified heavyweight throne.
Usyak stunned Joshua and the onlookers with his footwork and evasiveness, though his aggressive action was also worth watching.
And at one point in the fight, he boxed the great Floyd Mayweather using a technique often used to land a pretty straight left.
Usik used his right hand to bring down Joshua’s guard so that he could bring a left arm straight down the pipe, which he did with near-perfect accuracy.
The much-repeated moment is reminiscent of the time Mayweather caught current pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez in his 2013 performance with the same set-up.
But in that instance, former five-weight champion Mayweather, a conservative fighter, used his left hand to break the Mexican guard before landing in a straight right flush.
Usyak, 35, will seek to replicate that successful set-up and more in his spring rematch with Joshua.
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This match was initially to be held in the end of March but now work is going on in April.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed: “I think April is realistic for that fight.
“Before you know it, it’s going to be February and a lot of these fights take place.
“For us, the preferred date and location for that fight would be the UK, in which case we would have to fight outside, so we’re not really interested in doing that fight in March.
“AJ has been training relatively solidly since the fight.
“Actually if you start your training camp in February, April also gets pretty tight, but it’s the preferred date to fight and I think it’s realistic.”
Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krasu teased an impending announcement earlier this week, telling Sky Sports: “There are many things happening at the moment. Soon we will unveil everything.”
aj out for revenge
The 32-year-old is determined to take revenge on the undefeated Ukrainian and reclaim the unified title.
He said: “For me, I have one thing on my mind, that’s war, that’s murder, that’s war, let’s go out there and hurt that guy.
“Take his spirit to the point where he wants to give up. That’s what boxing is about, I learned that.
“You keep hitting people up constantly, putting a certain amount of pressure on them before they know it they’ll know you’re not going anywhere, you’re here to stay.
“With the game plan, all I have in mind is to stay a track, of course, take this guy to places he doesn’t want to go.”
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