Oleksandr Usyk inks promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing

Undisputed cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk, who has emerged as one of boxing's pound-for-pound best, has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing, which will co-promote him with longtime promoter K2 Promotions, Matchroom announced on Friday.

It's a significant signing for Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who will add Usyk to the roster of fighters who will appear on the DAZN streaming service he has a big-money deal with in the United States, as well as on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.

Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs), a 31-year-old southpaw and 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, became the first fighter to unify all four major 200-pound belts by easily outpointing Murat Gassiev to win the eight-man World Boxing Super Series tournament on July 21 in Moscow, Gassiev's home turf.

"Fans can look forward to watching me take on the biggest and best names in the sport," Usyk said. "Boxing for me is all about drama and victory, and there is plenty more to come. A fight with [former cruiserweight titlist] Tony Bellew would be a momentous occasion. He is a good boxer and a good person, and I also have the option to move into the heavyweight division."

A fight between Usyk and England's Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs), who is also with Matchroom Boxing, is in talks, and a future showdown with unified heavyweight world titlist Anthony Joshua, also a Matchroom Boxing fighter, is possible down the road.

"Usyk holds all the cards at cruiserweight and is already eyeing a move to heavyweight and in particular a fight with Anthony Joshua," Hearn said. "Right now our priority is to try and finalize a super fight with Tony Bellew later this year, but either way we will announce his next fight in the very near future."

With potential Bellew and Joshua fights in the cards, Usyk will continue to fight on the road in England, which is just fine with him.

"Thankfully, England is more than just a country for me," he said. "In this country, I got what I was reaching for half of my life. I got my Olympic gold medal [in London], and in Liverpool I became European champion in 2008. England is a lucky country for me, and fortune comes only with hard work."

Usyk won his world title in 2016 on the road when he outpointed Krzysztof Glowacki in Poland and has made all five of his defenses on the road -- two in the United States as well as in Germany, Latvia and Russia.

"I am delighted to start our cooperation with Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn in particular, whom I consider to be the most successful promoter of the present time," said Alex Krassyuk of K2 Promotions. "In his 15 fights to date, [Usyk] has created history by becoming the first cruiserweight to unify all four belts, and there is more history to be made. He knows that in order to become the king of world boxing, he will have to dethrone the biggest name in boxing -- Anthony Joshua. But this is for the future. For now, a cruiserweight showdown with Tony Bellew is our focus. We are hoping the deal will be finalized shortly and the fight will be announced soon."