Oleksandr Usyk withdraws from heavyweight debut vs. Carlos Takam with bicep injury

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Oleksandr Usyk has suffered a bicep injury and his heavyweight debut against veteran Carlos Takam is now off. His manager, Egis Klimas, confirmed the news on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. 

"Unfortunately Usyk has suffered a bicep injury and will no longer fight on May 25," Klimas wrote. "A new date for his heavyweight debut will be announced shortly. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn added, "An announcement regarding our Maryland show will be made shortly." 

At this point, it's unclear if the scheduled card will go on as planned with a new main event or be scrapped entirely. 

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Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs), is coming off a dominant year in 2018, during which he won the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament, unified the titles in that division and scored a victory over Tony Bellew with a stunning eighth-round knockout. He was also named CBS Sports' Fighter of the Year.  With no challenges remaining at cruiserweight, Usyk announced his plans to move up to heavyweight, claiming he's aiming to unify that division as well. 

"I need to become the undisputed heavyweight champion," Usyk said during an interview prior to his fight with Bellew. "As soon as I become, I will turn back and say, 'Guys, thank you very much for your participation. Thanks everyone.' I will thank the Lord, I will go to the ground and say farewell and I will go home."

First, though, we must see how he adapts to fighting bigger opponents. That's why his fight with Takam (36-5-1, 28 KOs) was so intriguing. The veteran would have provided a perfect test for Usyk to see whether his power and chin translate to the heavyweight division. 

We may still see that bout when Usyk gets healthy, but as it stands, the Ukrainian's heavyweight debut is now likely a few months away. 

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Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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