Oleksandr Usyk will make his heavyweight debut against Tyrone Spong in Chicago on October 12
Last Updated: 24/09/19 3:04pm
Oleksandr Usyk will make his heavyweight debut against Tyrone Spong at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on October 12, live on Sky Sports.
The undisputed cruiserweight champion is moving up a division after his knockout win over Tony Bellew in November and will next face Spong, an unbeaten Florida-based contender.
Spong has 13 knockouts in 14 fights, including last weekend's stoppage win over Jeyson Minda, and Usyk has voiced his respect for the 33-year-old.
I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title.
"Spong is a fast and powerful heavyweight who has had much success in the ring," said Usyk. "I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title. I look forward to seeing everyone there."
An accomplished kick boxer, Spong now relishes the challenge of facing one of the world's elite boxers.
The Surinamese-Dutchman, who is ranked at No 5 by the WBO, said: "After achieving most of my goals as a kick boxer and becoming one of the most decorated champions in the history of the sport, I wanted to test myself in the difficult and challenging sport of boxing.
"I have worked tirelessly during the last three years and now have the opportunity to prove my worth as a boxer against perhaps the best pound-for-pound, and most technically sound boxer in the world.
"Some may think the challenge may be too difficult, but I believe in myself, and look forward to being victorious on October 12."
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Usyk's heavyweight debut is one of the most hotly anticipated boxing moments of 2019 and personally, I can't wait to see it.
"Oleksandr is a phenomenon who dominated the cruiserweight division, becoming undisputed after just 15 fights.
"Now, as he prepares to challenge for the world heavyweight title, he must first overcome Tyrone Spong in Chicago."