The scourge of failed VADA testing hit boxing yet again this week when Oleksandr Usyk's scheduled opponent Tyrone Spong was pulled from the Matchroom Boxing USA card at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago where he was supposed to be the first heavyweight opponent for former unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Matchroom have been fortunate enough to find an opponent who has a famous boxing name and a solid record to fill the void created by Spong's adverse finding. Chazz Witherspoon was a pretty hot prospect after running up a 23 fight unbeaten record, but when he met his first world-class opponent in Chris Arreola he was disqualified in 3 rounds and he went back to facing journeymen and club fighters. His second attempt to crack the top ten resulted in a 9th round Tko loss to Tony Thompson and in 2012 he fought then-undefeated prospect Seth Mitchell who stopped Witherspoon in 3 rounds.
There are no other names of note on Witherspoon's record, so Matchroom must have made a big offer to entice the 38-year-old to take on the world-class Ukrainian at such short notice.
Of course, we don't know how Usyk will look as a heavyweight but he will be facing a 6ft 4In 235lb, natural heavyweight who weighed 218lbs when he made his professional debut back in 2004. Will this make a difference? Not really, Usyk will have sparred heavyweights throughout his amateur and pro careers so there won't be any surprises there. It will only tell when he is caught by solid punches with 10 oz gloves from a decent puncher. Witherspoon has 29 Ko's on his record but the level of opposition he has faced can be misleading when it comes to statistics.
Witherspoon will never have faced an opponent with such an array of shots as the Ukrainian. He will be hit by shots that he won't have seen coming and Usyk will move faster on his feet than anyone that the Philadelphia born Witherspoon has ever been in with.
Prediction: Usyk to win by stoppage in the first 4 rounds.