Oleksandr Usyk will face Chazz Witherspoon on his Heavyweight debut at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
Witherspoon (38-3 29 KOs) second cousin of former two-time World Heavyweight ruler Tim Witherspoon, is unbeaten in five years with his last win coming in March in Atlantic City over Santiago Silgado and now the 38 year old Philadelphian gets a huge opportunity to pull off a massive upset as Ukrainian pound-for-pound king Usyk moves up to Heavyweight after leaving the Cruiserweight division as the undisputed ruler.
“I can’t wait to face Usyk in Chicago,” said Witherspoon. “I have been in training ready for a big fight, and it doesn’t get bigger than this. Oleksandr is stepping up to Heavyweight – and he’s going to find out that it’s a totally different game.
“I’ve won my last eight fights and I really feel that I’ve been waiting in the wings for a huge opportunity like this and I am going to put every ounce of myself into the fight on this massive stage.”
Witherspoon replaces Tyrone Spong in the main event on the stacked card in the Windy City after there were adverse findings in two of Spong’s urine samples. As a result, the Illinois State Athletic Commission will not license Tyrone to box and rescinded their approval of the bout with Usyk.
Usyk’s Heavyweight bow against Witherspoon is part of a huge night of World championship action in Chicago as Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo and unified Super-Lightweight champion Jessica McCaskill defends her WBA and WBC titles against old foe Erica Farias.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr returns to action against Morgan Fitch, Charles Conwell defends his USBA Super-Welterweight title against Patrick Day, an all-Chicago Super-Featherweight clash between Josh Hernandez and Giovanni Mioletti, former World title challenger TJ Doheny returns to the ring, Reshat Mati is back after recovering from a shoulder injury and a fourth pro outing for rising starlet Otha Jones III.
Usyk vs. Witherspoon Fight Results
Summer Lynn vs. Jenna Thompson
Summer Lynn (1-0, 0 KOs) defeated Jenna Thompson (1-3-1, 0 KOs) via Unanimous decision in her professional debut, the scorecards read 40-36, 39-37 twice. Lynn showed her amateur pedigree utilizing her jab, and creating space to land her jab and straight right hand at will. Thompson tried to take the fight to the inside but didn’t have any success.
TJ Doheny vs. Jesus Martinez
TJ Doheny (22-1, 16 KOs) outclassed Jesus Martinez (26-10, 13 KOs) to a win via sixth round TKO. Not sure why Doheny is in an eight round fight, let alone against this opponent. It was a clear mismatch as Doheny dropped Martinez in the first and fifth rounds. Doheny ended the fifth round with a clean combination, leaving Martinez on deer legs headed to his stool. Thus, his corner decided he took enough punishment, and the fight ended to start the sixth round of action.
Charles Conwell vs. Patrick Day
USBA Super Welterweight Champion Charles Conwell (11-0, 8 KOs) defeated Patrick Day (17-4-1, 6 KOs) via 10th round TKO. A vicious left hooked ended the fight that Day didn’t even see. The referee immediately waved the fight off following the knockdown. Conwell dominated the fight from start to finish, imposing his will on Day. Conwell’s non-stop pressure, and volume gave Day problems, he never adjust or seemed comfortable in the fight.
Anthony Sims Jr. vs. Morgan Fitch
Anthony Sims Jr. (20-0, 18 KOs) defeated Morgan Fitch (19-4-1, 8 KOs) via TKO in the sixth round. Sims Jr. started fast with a early first round knockdown. After that the action slowed for a handful of rounds, as Sims Jr. wanted to counter punch. A barrage of punches forced the referee to step in and stop the fight. Sims Jr. proceeded to call out Rocky Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) in his post-fight interview.
Arthur Biyarslanov vs. Tyrome Jones
Artur Biyarslanov (5-0, 4 KOs) defeated Tyrome Jones (4-6-1, 1 KOs) via unanimous decision. It was an ugly fight, that resulted in Biyarslanov face receiving multiple cuts, his shorts completely bloodied by the end of the six round fight. Jones couldn’t find his offense in a short fight, which resulted in his sixth loss.
Jessica McCaskill vs. Erica Farias
Jessica McCaskill (8-2, 3 KOs) defeated Erica Farias (26-4, 10 KOs) via majority decision, 94-94, 97-91, 96-92. This was not the fight of the year candidate that the first bout was between these two. Instead, it was a very mundane, limited action fight due to the fact that Farias was holding on nearly every exchange. Both fighters were deducted points, Farias for holding, Mccaskill for punching behind the head. This fight failed to live up to expectations, nonetheless, McCaskill successfully defended her WBC and WBA titles and can continue to unify the division. McCaskill stated she would like a Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) rematch, or even a mega-fight with Amanda Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KOs).
Otha Jones III vs. Eric Manriquez
Otha Jones III defeated Eric Manriquez via majority decision 38-38, 40-36, 39-37. Jones III had the handspeed, accuracy and power to do what he wanted to with Manriquez. There wasn’t much to see here, Manriquez’ height and reach was a big factor in this fight. He couldn’t get close enough to get his offense off.
Dmitry Bivol vs. Lenin Castillo
Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) defeated Lenin Castillo (20-3-1, 15 KOs) via
The action started off slow with Bivol using his jab for the first half of the fight. Neither fighter took a risk, or let their hands go. Bivol landed a perfect straight right hand that dropped Castillo in the sixth round. What seemed to be a solid matchup on paper didn’t translate to action in the ring. Bivol is a very patient fighter, and Castillo was reluctant to throw any punches and get into a fire fight with Bivol.
Bivol apologized for his performance, and thanked the fans for coming out and tuning in to DAZN to watch. “My dream is to fight for another belt.” When asked if he has his eyes on the Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) vs Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) winner he stated, “Why not? We are in the same division, of course I can get that fight.”
Aleksandr Usyk vs. Chazz Witherspoon
Usyk’s Heavyweight debut was an impressive win as he looked comfortable at 215 pounds. Every round Usyk got better and better. Usyk battered Witherspoon in the seventh round, with an all out attack. The referee was forced to stop the fight to begin the eight round as Witherspoon was taking a beating, and not fighting back in anyway. Usyk is athe WBO number one mandatory contender and the number two WBA contender. He has the options to fight for a belt in his very next bout.
Reshat Mati vs. Norfleet Stitts
Reshat Mati (4-0, 2 KOs) defeated Norfleet Stitts (1-5, 0 KOs) via unanimous decision 40-36 x 3 to remain undefeated. Mati improved his record to 4-0 in a efficient performance. Working the body, and getting very close to earning the TKO victory. He is a nice Welterweight prospect that continues to look better and better.
Giovanni Mioletti vs. Josh Hernandez
Giovanni Mioletti (18-0, 7 KOs) defeats Josh Hernandez (9-3, 7 KOs) via split decision. The scorecards read 96-94 Hernandez, 96-94 & 97-93 in favor of Mioletti.
This was an action packed ten round fight that most fans missed as they left following the Usyk victory. Mioletti’s experience showed, he was patient in his approach and just a little bit better than Hernandez throughout the fight. Hernandez showed grit, and won the exchanges that were fought on the inside. A very close fight that was deserving of a spot on DAZN stream, these two Super Featherweights have a future in the division.
Header photo by Manuel Ramos/RBRBoxing