Olexandr Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian boxer and the interim WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight champion will stand against Cuban Pedro Rodriguez. The event is to take place late at night on December 12 in Kyiv’s Palace of Sports.
The bout will be the ninth fight in Usyk’s professional career, and he is expected to retain his champion’s title for the fifth time.
Previously, the boxers held a press conference and an open training in Kyiv. “I spent just a couple of days here in Ukraine, and I like it very much. We’re really satisfied with the conditions, the training goes as planned, and I’ve got a good feeling about the upcoming fight”, Rodriguez said. Commenting on the bout with Usyk, Rodriguez said he never cared about his opponents’ titles. “I’m not intimidated by their scary looks, their experience or strength. He (Usyk) will have to find a different approach to dent my confidence. I have no fear”, said the Cuban.
His coach Luiz Perez was more self-restrained as he thanked Usyk and K2, the boxer’s promotion team, for the opportunity to hold the event. “We’ve prepared well, we’re optimistic about the fight. However, we respect our opponent and we know he’s one of the world’s best boxers”, Perez said.
Usyk’s coach James Ali Bashir, in turn, said the Ukrainian boxer’s team pays due respect for the opponent and recognized that Cuban boxers are very dangerous opponents, regardless their weight. Olexandr added that his family and fellow boxers from the Ukrainski Otamany fight team will come to watch the fight and support him.
The upcoming event will be Rodriguez’s first fight in Europe. Previously, he fought in the USA, the Dominican Republic and once in Mexico.