Usyk to make heavyweight debut v Spong in Chicago on Oct. 12

LONDON — Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk will make his debut at heavyweight in a fight against Tyrone Spong in Chicago on Oct. 12.

Usyk is making the step up from cruiserweight, where he unified the division after 15 fights. He has a 16-0 record with 12 knockouts.

Spong, who quit kickboxing for boxing in 2015, has won all 14 of his fights.

The 32-year-old Usyk says "I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title."

Usyk said last month he'd rejected the options of fighting veteran Russian heavyweights Alexander Povetkin or Andrei Fedosov because he feared it would be seen as a political battle.

Usyk was born on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, and sees himself as Ukrainian. However, he did fight Russian boxer Murat Gassiev in Moscow at cruiserweight.

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