Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut is in doubt due to an adverse finding in Tyrone Spong’s test, Eddie Hearn has revealed.
The promoter, though, explained reserves to fight the 32-year-old Ukrainian at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena on 12 October are standing by, but Matchroom are waiting for further information before making any decision.
“We have been contacted by VADA to inform us that there has been an adverse finding in Tyrone Spong’s test. It has been sent to the State of Illinois commission and further information will be released in the morning. We have reserve opponents standing by,” Hearn tweeted.
Usyk was originally scheduled to have his first heavyweight bout against Carlos Takam on 25 May, but injury to his bicep forced him to pull out.
He has has not been in action since stopping Tony Bellew in Manchester last November. Having amassed all four world titles at cruiserweight, his move up a division has been highly anticipated.
Spong, who has knocked out 13 of his 14 opponents is a 34-year-old Dutch former kickboxer, who also has two wins from as many MMA bouts.
Usyk, however, is not daunted by moving up a division and says people writing him off only spur him on.
“Throughout my life, I have heard from many people that I will not make it. But it is not possible only for those who are not trying, I will not be listening to those who tell me ‘not to do this,” he said.
Tyson Fury is one who has shot down his potential.
“I don’t think much about [Usyk], to be honest.
“He never enters the brain waves. Never. He’s not someone I’d rather think about, to be honest.
“I could probably beat Usyk with one arm tied behind my back and I’ll let you pick which one you want me to fight with, left or right.
“Either way it would be goodnight.”