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Results and highlights: Oleksandr Usyk weathers early storm, beats Dereck Chisora by decision

Oleksandr Usyk is still undefeated after an entertaining win over Dereck Chisora.

Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) had to deal with the rough, brawling, brute force style of Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs), but he was get his hand raised in London.

The former unified cruiserweight champion took some hard right hands from the heavy-handed Chisora in the first couple of rounds, but it didn’t take too long for Chisora’s spirited effort to turn into complete exhaustion and predictability. Usyk demonstrated a great chin and he slowly but surely outclassed the Brit on his way to a unanimous decision. It wasn’t an easy night at the office thanks to Chisora’s aggressive, bull-rushing ways but it was nevertheless a clear win and it probably should’ve been clearer than how the judges scored it.

Chisora decided that the best way to get after the former Olympic gold medalist would be to make the fight as ugly as possible — plenty of forward pressure, winging power shots, and occasional roughhousing in the clinch. Usyk definitely dropped some of the early rounds but remained calm and then established his technical, precise, and clinical boxing. The foorwork had Chisora turning early offensive success into embarrassing whiffs and subsequent counters.

A big combination staggered Chisora in the closing seconds of round seven, with Usyk thudding home a right hook with such precision that it drove Dereck to the ropes. Chisora may have been saved by the bell in this instance. He did well to find somewhat of a second wind after this, sometimes switching to southpaw to land the right jab, but Usyk hurt Chisora in the eighth and twelfth rounds. That stinging left upstairs was finding a home consistently, and Usyk rolled with a lot of Chisora’s shots late in the contest.

Official result: Oleksandr Usyk def. Dereck Chisora by unanimous decision (117-112, 115-113, 115-113)

Consider this Usyk’s real heavyweight debut, as the Chazz Witherspoon fight was a giant waste of time. Assuming he stays healthy, watch for the Ukrainian to step it up as a major player in the heavyweight division come 2021.