Jun 7, 2024

Oleksandr Usyk Eyes Cruiserweight Showdown with Billam-Smith or Riakporhe After Fury Rematch

Oleksandr Usyk Eyes Cruiserweight Showdown with Billam-Smith or Riakporhe After Fury Rematch

Oleksandr Usyk Eyes Cruiserweight Showdown with Billam-Smith or Riakporhe After Fury Rematch

Oleksandr Usyk Eyes Cruiserweight Clash with Chris Billam-Smith or Richard Riakporhe Post-Tyson Fury Rematch

Oleksandr Usyk, fresh off his victory over Tyson Fury to become the undisputed heavyweight champion, has hinted at a return to cruiserweight. This move could set up a potential clash with the winner of the upcoming rematch between Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe.

On June 15, Billam-Smith will defend his WBO cruiserweight title against Riakporhe at Selhurst Park. The bout, which promises to be an electrifying encounter, will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, has expressed keen interest in regaining his titles in the division, which would include Billam-Smith's WBO belt.

Usyk's Cruiserweight Ambitions

Speaking on the 3 Knockdown Rule podcast, Usyk revealed his intentions: "I think maybe after the rematch, I am going to go down in weight to cruiserweight. I want more (fights at) cruiserweight." His manager, Egis Klimas, confirmed these ambitions, adding that they have discussed the possibility of Usyk becoming a two-time undisputed champion in the cruiserweight division.

Usyk is scheduled for a rematch with Fury on December 21 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Should he emerge victorious, a return to cruiserweight could see him face the winner of Billam-Smith versus Riakporhe, setting the stage for a highly anticipated bout.

BOXXER CEO's Perspective

Ben Shalom, CEO of BOXXER and promoter for both Billam-Smith and Riakporhe, acknowledges the significance of a potential fight with Usyk. "If Oleksandr Usyk decides to come back down to cruiserweight, we could see a huge stadium fight here in the UK against the winner of Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe for the WBO world cruiserweight title," Shalom told Sky Sports.

Shalom praised Usyk’s accomplishments in the sport, calling him a generational talent and arguably the pound-for-pound best in the world. Despite Usyk's formidable reputation, Shalom believes both Billam-Smith and Riakporhe would eagerly accept the challenge to face him in the ring.

The Billam-Smith vs. Riakporhe Showdown

The rematch between Billam-Smith and Riakporhe is a highly anticipated event. Billam-Smith is looking to avenge his previous points loss to Riakporhe, and the fight will take place at the home ground of Riakporhe's favorite football team, Crystal Palace.

Shalom provided insights into the fighters' preparations, noting that both are in excellent shape and confident of their chances. "Things are really starting to heat up ahead of our huge summer stadium showdown next weekend. It's going to be a big outdoor boxing celebration topped by an unmissable domestic world title fight of the highest order," he said.

An Event to Remember

The event promises more than just the headline bout. The undercard features a European and Commonwealth cruiserweight title fight between Isaac Chamberlain and Jack Massey, as well as Ben Whittaker looking to settle scores with Ezra Arenyeka. Additionally, fans will witness the return of Dan Azeez and Francesca Hennessy, contributing to an action-packed lineup.

With only 30 percent of tickets remaining, fans are urged to secure their seats for what is shaping up to be a memorable night of boxing at Selhurst Park. The electric atmosphere, combined with live music and entertainment, will ensure a vibrant summer festival vibe.

As Usyk prepares for his rematch with Fury, his potential return to cruiserweight adds an exciting dimension to the boxing landscape. The winner of the Billam-Smith vs. Riakporhe fight could find themselves facing one of the sport’s greatest talents, making the June 15 showdown a must-watch event.