Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Oleksandr Usyk's eccentricity and brilliance on show with never-before-seen footage in new documentary
'A Glimpse at Greatness' On Demand now
Last Updated: 10/04/20 8:35pm
Oleksandr Usyk makes you laugh and strikes fear into your heart in equal measure, like an evil clown staring into your soul.
He has become compelling and intriguing, inside and outside the ring, with barely a word of English spoken. He has an aura when he enters a room that makes people fall silent, draw breath and look his way.
The eccentric and unique Usyk is profiled in a new Sky Sports documentary called A Glimpse at Greatness, On Demand now, which features never-before-seen footage of the man who has exploded onto the British boxing scene.
A Glimpse at Greatness follows Usyk's debut on British soil when he defended the undisputed cruiserweight championship against Tony Bellew in 2018.
He arrived with a reputation as one of the world's best boxers and left with a cult following after knocking Bellew out. Usyk will return (his new fan-base warranted it) to fight Derek Chisora in his next step towards a world heavyweight title shot.
The list of honours that precedes Usyk suggests he is special - Olympic gold medallist, inaugural World Boxing Super Series winner, first-ever to hold every major cruiserweight belt.
The intricacies made you sit up and take notice - the Ukrainian won world title fights in his opponent's countries six times, in Poland, the USA, Germany, Latvia, Russia and Britain.
"How do you feel?"
"I am feel, I am very feel," his bizarre and misunderstood reply built a Frankenstein-like notoriety.
He sat-stony faced after battering Bellew and said that winning a heavyweight title was not a dream, it was "something I am going to do". Anthony Joshua was put on notice by this brilliant invader.
A Glimpse at Greatness takes you to his training camp in Ukraine, a set-up so unusual but with a track record of producing champions.
Juggling, dancing and singing are part of the everyday routine sometimes just for fun but sometimes as an unorthodox method of improving hand-eye co-ordination.
He is a horse whisperer, too. A stallion outside the gym responds to Usyk's every call.
The documentary follows Usyk vs Bellew fight week with behind-the-scenes insight, from the Ukrainian's arrival at the airport dragging a bright pink suitcase.
He makes Bellew laugh on several occasions but his demonic stare is so, so unnerving.
Usyk will return soon as a new threat in the heavyweight division, where every belt resides in Britain.
"They look at this to be a stepping stone to Anthony Joshua," promoter Eddie Hearn said.
"He has no fear at all, but this is a different kind of world he's entering now. This isn't the cruiserweights, where his feet are spectacular, this is a division where you need power, you need strength and you need brawn and if he hasn't got that in the heavyweight division, he could come unstuck to someone like Derek Chisora.
"I think what's going to affect Chisora, the movement, the footwork. Not really the strength and not really the punch power.
"You might see a culmination of shots over the period of the fight might do the damage to Chisora, because Usyk is very accurate, his movement is fantastic, he's got great shot selection as well."
Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger to Joshua's belt but Chisora has warned: "Basically everything I'm going to do is for me to take what he has and make it mine."
It will be another special night in Usyk's fascinating uprising. So far, the story is documented hauntingly on A Glimpse at Greatness.