Aleksandr Usyk weighs 215 pounds for heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon
CHICAGO – Weigh-ins for the Aleksandr Usyk-Chazz Witherspoon card were originally scheduled to be held at an outdoor venue this morning. However, a dip in temperature of more than 30 degrees and rainy, windy conditions moved the event inside the lobby of the Wintrust Arena, site of the fight card tomorrow evening. A lively crowd of mostly Ukrainian-American fans made for a fun, memorable atmosphere.
The entire Usyk-Witherspoon will be streamed live on DAZN tomorrow night from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
Both main event fighters hit the scales with career-high weights, but for different reasons. Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world and 2018 fighter of the year, is making his heavyweight debut tomorrow night. He came in at 215 pounds, looking lean and fit. Chazz Witherspoon came in at 242 pounds. The 15-year pro has never weighed north of 236 prior to today. Much has been made of Witherspoon’s age and activity level in recent years, but the Philadelphia native deserves credit for stepping in to replace Tyrone Spong when others turned down the opportunity. Still, coming in almost 10 pounds heavier than his last bout in March is cause for concern.
WBA light heavyweight world titleholder Dmitry Bivol weighed in at 174.3 pounds, while his opponent, Dominican Republic native Lenin Castillo, came in right at the division limit of 175. The Russian looked dialed in and intense during the fighter stare down. Castillo, a 2008 Olympian, is an experienced veteran but clearly facing the most intimidating opponent of his career. This will be the fifth title defense for Bivol and the first world title challenge for Castillo.
Unified WBC and WBA super lightweight world titleholder Jessica McCaskill, who has lived and trained out of Chicago since 2012, weighed in at 138.7 pounds. Her opponent, Argentina native Erica Anabella Farias, came in just a bit lighter at 138.1. These women put on an entertaining fight in the same arena last October and appear eager to do it again. McCaskill won the first bout to take the WBC belt from Farias, then added the WBA belt with a victory over Anahi Ester Sanchez, another Argentinian, in May. Farias not only has a chance to get her title back, but to claim unified titles. For McCaskill, this will be the first time she fights in front of her hometown fans as a champion.
Doors open tomorrow at 4pm (central time), the first bell will ring at 4:15.
Other undercard fighters weighed in as follows.
6 round Super-Lightweight contest
Arthur Biyarslanov (4-0, 4 KOs): 137 lbs
Tyrome Jones (4-5-1, 1 KO): 136 lbs
10 round Super-Middleweight contest
Anthony Sims Jr (19-0, 17 KOs): 168.5 lbs.
Morgan Fitch (19-3-1, 8 KOs): 167.5 lbs.
8 round Super-Bantamweight contest
TJ Doheny (21-1, 15 KOs): 124 lbs
Jesus Martinez (26-9, 13 KOs): 124 lbs
4 round Super-Welterweight contest
Summer Lynn (pro debut): 147lbs
Jenna Thompson (1-2, 0 KO): 147 lbs
4 round Welterweight contest
Reshat Mati (3-0, 2 KOs): 151 lbs.
Norfleet Stitts (1-4, 0 KO): 150.5 lbs.
10 round USBA Super-Welterweight contest
Charles Conwell (10-0, 7 KOs): 153.8 lbs.
Patrick Day (17-3-1, 6 KOs): 153.7 lbs.
10 round Super-Featherweight contest
Giovanni Mioletti (17-0, 7 KOs): 131 lbs.
Joshuah Hernandez (9-2, 7 KOs): 130 lbs.
6 round Super-Featherweight contest
Otha Jones III (3-0, 1 KO): 129 lbs
Eric Manriquez (7-8-1, 3 KOs): 130 lbs
Michael Montero can be found on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via @MonteroOnBoxing. His weekly podcast ‘The Neutral Corner’ can be heard on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio and elsewhere.