Denys Berinchyk will share a card with Oleksandr Usyk for the first time in nearly eight years.
The unbeaten lightweight contender is set for a scheduled 12-round, regional title defense versus former title challenger Anthony Yigit, promoter Alex Krassyuk confirmed Thursday. The bout will take place on the undercard of Usyk’s WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight title defense versus London’s Daniel Dubois atop a TNT Sports Pay-Per-View on August 26 from Stadion Wroclaw (Tarczynski Arena Wroclaw) in Wroclaw, Poland.
The event will also air live on ESPN+ in the U.S.
Berinchyk (17-0, 9KOs) will fight for the second straight time outside of his native Ukraine after having spent his entire career exclusively at home. He will be among friends, however; the event is marketed around Ukraine Independence Day, given the influx of Ukrainians in Poland since the Russia invasion last February.
The event will see Berinchyk and Usyk (20-0, 13KOs) have not appeared on the same show since Berinchyk’s first year as a pro. Two of his first three bouts landed on the undercard of his more celebrated countryman—his August 2019 pro debut again later that December. Usyk has since become boxing’s ultimate road warrior, as his past eleven fights have either taken place either on neutral soil or in his opponent’s home country.
Berinchyk’s most recent win came in a twelve-round decision over Yvan Mendy last December 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London. The fight landed the undercard of Tyson Fury’s tenth-round knockout of Derek Chisora to defend his lineal and WBC heavyweight championship. Usyk was ringside both to support Berinchyk and publicly challenge Fury.
However, the desired undisputed heavyweight championship never transpired, which left Usyk to next defend versus Dubois (19-1, 18KOs) in a title consolidation bout ordered by the WBA. Dubois holds the WBA ‘Regular’ title.
Yigit (27-3-1, 10KOs) will fight for the third time in an active 2023 campaign.
Amazingly, the busy stretch began with a ninth-round knockout defeat to Keyshawn Davis on April 8 in Newark, New Jersey. The 31-year-old Swedish southpaw returned with a confidence-restoring four-round shutout of Jacob Quinn on May 27 in Malmo, Sweden.
Yigit suffered his first defeat in a grotesque seventh-round stoppage to Ivan Baranchyk in their October 2018 IBF junior welterweight title fight between unbeaten contenders. He was also stopped in the seventh-round of a July 2021 interim WBA lightweight title challenge versus Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero, for which he was well over the divisional limit.
Berinchyk is in prime position to challenge for his first major title. The 35-year-old Ukrainian is ranked number-three by the WBO, just behind former multi-divisional titlists Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10KOs) and countryman Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-3, 11KOs). Devin Haney (30-0, 15KOs) is the division's undisputed champion but is presently mulling offers both at lightweight and junior welterweight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox