Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight debut on Saturday will go ahead as planned, with Chazz Witherspoon replacing Tyrone Spong.
Usyk vs Spong was called off following an adverse finding in Sprong’s VADA drugs test and he was refused a boxing licence by the State of Illinois commission.
Witherspoon (38-3 29 KOs), unbeaten since 2012, last fought in March and cannot wait for Saturday night.
“Oleksandr is stepping up to heavyweight – and he’s going to find out that it’s a totally different game,” the 38-year-old said.
“I’ve won my last eight fights and I really feel that I’ve been waiting in the wings for a huge opportunity like this and I am going to put every ounce of myself into the fight on this massive stage.”
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.
Before Witherspoon was announced as his next fight, the 2012 Olympic medallist turning his attention to the division’s big names and said out of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, he’d love a crack at the American.
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“He has a belt and it’s green – my favourite colour,” he said laughing.
Tyson Fury, however, shot down his potential in the land of the giants.
“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.”
Usyk vs Witherspoon will take place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday night.