Usyk vs Bellew: The Panel pick out Oleksandr Usyk’s next heavyweight foe

Oleksandr Usyk admits he is hunting down a heavyweight battle with unified world champion Anthony Joshua, after retaining his cruiserweight world titles with a brutal knockout of Tony Bellew at the Manchester Arena. Straight afterwards, Usyk made his move so we asked the ringside panel who the Ukrainian should go in against next, up among the big boys…

Darren Barker

Fighters from the same part of the world like Usyk don’t mess around, they want tough opposition. Joseph Parker is one that comes off the top of my head. He’s not a huge heavyweight, and is a decent name, and he needs something like that to start working towards Joshua.

Dillian Whyte

If it’s a big fight and he wants it, he can have it. I’m game.

Dillian Whyte

Pauli Malignaggi

He is going to need a few heavyweight fights before he gets Joshua, so we will have to wait. The Bellew fight was a real cat-and-mouse affair and heavyweights just don’t do that. He needs to go in with someone like Whyte, Chisora or Fres Oquendo first. Size and experience at that weight will be the tests, then we can take it from there.

Johnny Nelson

I would like to see him go in with a former champion, or at least a world title challenger. Someone like Dominic Breazeale or Carlos Takam, a proper heavyweight that might not be the top tier, but won’t be easy. He needs to do what Dillian Whyte has done, take on the fringe fighters to see how you fare first.

Carl Froch

Maybe the winner of Dillian Whyte or Dereck Chisora, maybe even an American like ‘Big Baby’ Miller. But the stand-out one would be Joseph Parker. That would be a perfect gauge of what he’s going to be like. They’re about the same size and height but if he can get rid of him, all of a sudden we will know he is a serious threat. At the moment, we all think he will be.

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