Oleksandr Usyk proved to be such a handful during a training session with Wladimir Klitschko, the former heavyweight champion threw him out of the ring.
The 34-year-old, who is set to challenge Anthony Joshua for his heavyweight belts, has only had two previous fights in the glamorous division of boxing, but the Ukrainian has plenty of experience fighting much bigger men from his amateur days and sparring stellar names such as as countryman.
But his eagerness in the ring didn’t endear him to Klitschko and the Usyk camp revealed this week that the former undisputed cruiserweight champion hasn’t heard from him or his brother Vitali.
Ahead of his title defense against Tyson Fury in 2015, former heavyweight champion Wladimir sought out Usyk’s skills to emulate the Briton’s elusive and clumsy.
However, he clearly did such a good job that “Dr. Steelhammer” told him to leave the ring in order to avoid further humiliation in front of the crowd watching them.
According to Johnny Nelson, the little man made a lasting impression on him.
“I’m rating Usyk,” Nelson told Behind the Gloves in an interview in 2018. “When I saw him training with Wladimir as Wladimir was getting ready for Tyson Fury, I said, ‘Who is this guy? Who is he?’
“I had no idea, but I know there was something special about him. He took a walk with Wladimir, and Wladimir threw him out and said, ‘Get out, not while the press is there “.
“He was making things difficult for Wladimir. He was like directing Wladimir.
“’Bring him out. Bring somebody else in,” Nelson said.
Usyk however had the help of another big name in Ukrainian boxing, with Vasyl’s father Anatoly Lomachenko training him.
His manager, Sergey Lapin, says this has taken him to “the next level”.
Joshua, who defends his belts against him in London on September 25, puts the challenger up there with one of his toughest tests, including Klitschko, whom he beat in 2017.
“On paper, he’s number two, behind Wladimir Klitschko.
“They’re very different technically, but on paper he’s an Olympic gold medalist, he’s reigned for over 10 years, he’s number one.
“But Usyk is number two because of his success at the cruiserweight and then his success so far at the heavyweight.”
“One of his strengths is that he steps into the ring with me.
“I have to give him credit for it, it’s going to be difficult. “