Oleksandr Usyk to fight Chazz Witherspoon on his heavyweight debut after original opponent Tyrone Spong was forced out due to an adverse doping test

CHAZZ WITHERSPOON will be Oleksandr Usyk’s first fight at heavyweight on Saturday after original opponent Tyrone Spong was forced out due to an adverse doping test.

The 38-year-old is stepping in at just four days’ notice but insists he is ready to take on the undefeated Ukrainian in Chicago.

Oleksandr Usyk to fight Chazz Witherspoon on his heavyweight debut after original opponent Tyrone Spong was forced out due to an adverse doping test1 Oleksandr Usyk will face Chazz Witherspoon in his first heavyweight fight this SaturdayCredit: PA

Following the announcement, the American (41-38-3) said: “I have been in training ready for a big fight, and it doesn't get bigger than this.

“I can't wait to face Usyk. Oleksandr is stepping up to heavyweight – and he's going to find out that it's a totally different game.

“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.”

Usyk was the first man ever to hold the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and WBO cruiserweight titles and last fought when he successfully defended them all against Tony Bellew last November.

He vacated the belts in March in order to move up to heavyweight and will now be looking to stretch his record to 17-0 against Witherspoon following Spong’s withdrawal.

Spong, 34, enjoyed an impressive career in MMA and kickboxing before winning his first 14 fights as a pro boxer.

However his shot at ending Usyk’s perfect record was ended, at least for the time-being, due to an adverse result under Voluntary Anti-Doping Association testing.

VADA requires fighters to pay for testing throughout the duration of their training camp in the build-up to bouts.

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And it says Spong was part of its programme on September 20 and tested positive for clomiphene, the same banned substance that Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar failed tests for at UFC 200 back in 2016.

But he told BoxingScene.com: “This is a set-up. I vehemently deny that I have ever taken the substance named in VADA’s report.

“I have asked for testing of the B sample at a laboratory of my choosing. Testing performed last week at the request of the Illinois Boxing Commission showed, what I’ve always known, that I’m a clean fighter.”

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