OLEKSANDR USYK is in negotiations with Alexander Povetkin over a potential fight in the United States which would see him make his heavyweight debut.
The Ukrainian has decided that the time is right to make the step up to 200lb after an impressive performance saw him grind down Tony Bellew in November to remain the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
There is belief that the skilful southpaw can eventually prove a serious threat to the likes of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury but first he needs to build up some experience before earning the chance to take on the super-sized heavyweights.
It’s now looking increasingly likely that the 32-year-old will make his bow in the division against Alexander Povetkin in May after Eddie Hearn confirmed that talks are underway.
“We’re in talks. I think it’s a very tough fight to go into heavyweight, but they [K2] like the fight,” Hearn told Express Sport.
“It’s a tough one for Povetkin because he’s in a situation where his stock has actually risen through the AJ fight.
“He could come out and had a standard fight or he could dive straight into a fight where if he loses his career is over so he’s also balancing up where it’s risk versus reward.
“Fans don’t really want to hear that it’s got to be financially right but that’s how things are evaluated by teams.”
Joshua stopped the Russian in the seventh round of their Wembley Stadium bout back in September to retain his IBF, WBA Super, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
But the 39-year-old is taking his time to ponder over the deal knowing that defeat could spell the end of his 14-year professional career.
On the flip side, Hearn revealed that Usyk and his team are relishing the opportunity of building his profile against a big name.
“Povetkin is not just saying ‘give me a good offer and I’ll take it’, he’s thinking ‘if I lose this fight my career is over, so I want enough money to make sure it’s worth taking.’
“Usyk is actually a different beast, he’s actually like ‘I like that fight’, that’s a really tough fight to move into heavyweight to.
“They’re [his team] up for fighting anyone and I like that. Again, it doesn’t mean they’re going to fight them for peanuts but he likes the challenge.
“I think if he fights Povetkin in his first fight at heavyweight, I think that’s a hell of a statement.”
Usyk posted a picture on Instagram earlier this week in the gym doing compound lifts as he looks to build that extra muscle.
The clash between Usyk and Povetkin is likely to take place in Chicago on May 18 if the parties can shake hands on all of the final formalities.