Oleksandr Usyk will make his heavyweight debut against Tyrone Spong at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on October 12, live on Sky Sports.

The undisputed cruiserweight champion is moving up a division after his knockout win over Tony Bellew in November and will next face Spong, an unbeaten Florida-based contender.

Spong has 13 knockouts in 14 fights, including last weekend’s stoppage win over Jeyson Minda, and Usyk has voiced his respect for the 33-year-old.

I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title.

Oleksandr Usyk

“Spong is a fast and powerful heavyweight who has had much success in the ring,” said Usyk. “I must come through this test to challenge for the world heavyweight title. I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

An accomplished kick boxer, Spong now relishes the challenge of facing one of the world’s elite boxers.

The Surinamese-Dutchman, who is ranked at No 5 by the WBO, said: “After achieving most of my goals as a kick boxer and becoming one of the most decorated champions in the history of the sport, I wanted to test myself in the difficult and challenging sport of boxing.

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Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Comfort zone is where dreams go to die! @mundoboxing @aandtpromotions #Tyrone #King #Spong #Suriname #Paramaribo #Native #Warrior #Amazon #Champion #Grandchamp #Respect #Fight #War #Humble 📸 @99svg

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“I have worked tirelessly during the last three years and now have the opportunity to prove my worth as a boxer against perhaps the best pound-for-pound, and most technically sound boxer in the world.

“Some may think the challenge may be too difficult, but I believe in myself, and look forward to being victorious on October 12.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Usyk’s heavyweight debut is one of the most hotly anticipated boxing moments of 2019 and personally, I can’t wait to see it.