Dave Allen reveals Oleksandr Usyk wore underpants and juggled in sparring and is on Tyson Fury’s level – but warns Derek Chisora can upset Ukrainian
Dave Allen believes Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury are ‘just so many levels above everyone else in terms of boxing ability’.
However, ‘The White Rhino’ insists if there is one man who can upset the Ukrainian it is the man whom he shares the ring with on Saturday night; Derek ‘War’ Chisora.
Initially scheduled for May, this heavyweight clash is meant to be a barometer of sorts for the former undisputed cruiserweight champion to test his mettle with the big boys.
Having wiped out all at 200lbs, Usyk wants to replicate the feat at heavyweight. Although Chazz Witherspoon officially welcomed him to the heavyweight pro ranks last year, Chisora is a significant step up.
The hard-hitting Londoner is a grizzly, seasoned veteran of the sport and has faced some of the biggest and nastiest heavyweights of his generation. While he may have fallen short at world level, a fight with the 36-year-old is never an easy night.
Allen spent time training with Usyk in his native Ukraine in order to prepare him for the bout on Halloween and, while he encountered a few tricks, the Doncaster-native admitted it was a treat to watch him in action.
“First of all, he is a great fella,” Allen said, speaking on Sports Day on talkSPORT 2. “Second of all, he’s just very annoyingly good at everything.
“He’s a man that can do anything; I was over there and he only ever wore his underpants to training which I thought was odd.
“He’d be stood in his underpants and juggling five balls at a time, he would be doing 100 kick-ups with a rugby ball – the man can just do anything.
“We’d get to the boxing and he was unbelievable, maybe the most talented man I’ve ever sparred with. Him and Tyson Fury, for me, are just so many levels above everyone else in terms of boxing ability.”
The consensus amongst pugilistic pundits is that Saturday’s clash will play out like a bull and a matador; Chisora will need to be aggressive, but wary to not be stung if he is careless.
Although Usyk is not renowned for being a powerful puncher, he knocked out Tony Bellew back in November 2018 to effectively retire ‘The Bomber’ and has the skills, footwork and cardio to be a serious problem at heavyweight.
Allen believes complacency against Chisora is a fatal mistake and, as he proved against Carlos Takam in July 2018, the veteran has the power to change the course of a fight with just one booming right hand.
He added: “Usyk is the big favourite, and rightfully so, he is the former undisputed cruiserweight king and a more talented man I don’t think I’ve sparred.
“But Derek Chisora, from my experience of sparring with him and watching him, is an unbelievably tough man.
“If anyone can weather the storm like Usyk can bring – which he will because of the massive speed advantage – it’s Derek Chisora.
“He has definitely got the power to end it with one shot so Oleksandr has got to be on his game for 12 rounds.”