South African Cruiserweight Thabiso Mchunu is confident he can defeat WBO World Champion Oleksandr Usyk this Saturday on the Bernard Hopkins v Joe Smith Jr undercard.

Usyk is the heavy favourite for the first defence of his belt at The Forum in California, but Mchunu believes he can upset the odds.

“I’m going to be the one who is going to control the fight and I’m either going to get a win on points or stop him,” he told IOL Sport.


“I see myself dominating him and he’s going to try to respond to that, and every time he tries to respond I’m going to counter punch him.”

In his last fight, Usyk out-pointed tough Pole Krzysztof Glowacki to become World Champion in just his tenth fight. He has spoke of unification bouts next year should he successfully defend his crown this weekend.

This will be the Ukrainian’s debut on American soil, while Mchunu has fought and won three times in the States, including a 2013 victory over Eddie Chambers.

“I’ve been there and I’ve fought in the USA before, and every time I’ve fought in the USA I have won. So he has something to prove, but he can’t afford to try a lot of things and make mistakes against a guy like me,” said the southpaw.

“He’s a good boxer but he hasn’t fought someone like me. It’s going to be hard for him to fight me because I’m short and very awkward.”

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