It may be the worst kept secret in boxing. Despite having yet to be officially confirmed, it is widely expected that Usyk vs Chisora will take place on May 23 in London and be a Sky Sports Box Office main event. The latter distinction has raised eyebrows so I decided to investigate why.
Who’s the A-side?
There is a powerful argument to be formed that neither man is a proven pay-per-view draw. Chisora was in a Box Office main event in December 2018 but Whyte and their compelling dispute were the greater attractions for the rematch.
Usyk, in the meantime, opposed Tony Bellew in a ppv headliner a month before Whyte vs Chisora 2. The Liverpudlian had met two times with David Haye whereas Usyk, despite cruiserweight and WBSS supremacy, was making his UK ppv debut. Bellew was the familiar face. So, in essence, we have two Pay-per-view(PPV) B-sides combining to make an A-side.
If confirmed that Usyk vs Chisora will be the middle of three Box Office shows of Sky Sports in seven weeks. As Frank Warren stated in an interview earlier this week, Sky are now ’Competing with themselves.’ The last of these ppv cards, topped by Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev, is wholly justified.
Joshua is the world heavyweight champion(unified) and the famous superstar in British boxing and a long established Box Office main eventer. The May 2 Whyte vs Povetkin clash pits two of the world’s 10 best fighters in the same glamour division and has already been bolstered by a very solid undercard.
Chisora, though employing an style of entertaining and on a good run of form, has lost most of his biggest battles, while undeniably excellent Usyk laboured in his heavyweight debut.
What’s it for?
It always helps to have a prize beyond money, something the fighters are competing for. There will be no necessary titles at stake for Usyk vs Chisora, and an upset victory over the latter arguably does little for Dereck’s heavyweight standing.
Usyk can prove himself with a win that he can take a much naturally larger man, albeit with plenty of miles on the clock. Haye vs Bellew set the bar for ppv main events that exist outside of the natural boxing dynamic, but that matched two well-known names, former world champions and extrovert personalities. This does not.