Matchroom Boxing managing director Eddie Hearn has confirmed that the scheduled Tyrone Spong vs. Oleksandr Usyk showdown is in jeopardy following an adverse finding in one of Spong’s recent drug tests.
Spong (14-0) and Usyk (16-0) were set to go head to head at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois this weekend in what would’ve marked Oleksandr’s official move up to the heavyweight division. The transition has been highly anticipated for a few years now, with Usyk’s swan song as a cruiserweight coming last November when he knocked out Tony Bellew in Manchester.
Usyk’s rise to prominence began with his gold medal success at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, whereas Spong is quite the variety act as he has also competed professionally in mixed martial arts and kickboxing.
Hearn confirmed the news on social media late last night as seen in the below tweet, where he also noted that potential replacements are ready and waiting for the call.
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.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 7, 2019
Hearn was then questioned by a fan as to why he didn’t release a statement like this following Dillian Whyte’s recent doping controversy, to which he replied with the following retort.
“Because VADA issue information to camps and UKAD is bound by confidentiality between fighter and commission.”
One of the names that has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Usyk is Derek Chisora, who has been eager to welcome the Ukrainian to the land of the heavyweights for quite some time now. However, Chisora is now scheduled to battle David Price later this month.
Some fans have suggested that Usyk’s debut could be delayed in order for him to prepare accordingly for a new opponent, but given the close proximity to the event, you’d have to imagine they will still want to pull the trigger on having him fight this Saturday.
It appears as if more news will be released later on today, but for the time being, the immediate future for this fight isn’t looking good.