Ex-sparring: “Tried to knock out Usyk, but this dude is just a beast”


British top cruiserweight prospect Mikael Laval (16-0, 10 KOs) spoke about sparring with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) – he helped in preparation even at a time when the Ukrainian was competing in heavyweight.

“It was a very important experience for my career, because at that moment I understood exactly what level I was at,”
remembers Laval. – Usyk’s sparring partners were four. Every single one of them is a tough one. And everyone had one task – to demolish him from the ring. And this dude from the 1st to the last rounds looked fresh. At that moment, we all decided, he’s just some kind of beast. No, he does not rely on strength. But he’s so slippery, relaxed… He doesn’t have any innate power or strength. But he has something that few people can cope with, because most do not understand how he does it and how to deal with it.

According to Laval, in the end he more or less adapted himself to the then hegemon of the cruiserweight: “I realized that I needed to calm down, relax a little. And then my blows began to pass little by little. Yes, I had a couple of good moments with Usyk.”

Laval is a very powerful guy. You could be convinced of this in his last fight or from the stories of Tony Bellew, to whom Mikael broke his ribs during sparring: “I was most surprised at the moment when Tony told the media about it. I prefer to be talked about after the fights, but many thanks and respect to him for that.

A prospectus about what sparring with Usyk taught him: “Everything is simple here. I realized that you can not bet only on your power. You know, in fact, power is not so important as the ability to bring a fist to the target. And here you can’t do without technology. And you also need to consider that at this moment you can fly. That is, it is like chess – you need to think over your actions a few steps ahead. To be honest, that’s what I love about boxing.”

Laval will enter the ring on November 26 – in a fight with a slippery left-handed compatriot
Deion Juma will compete for the vacant BBC World Championship.

Prospect has previously talked about his time at Usyk’s camp: “Some of the hardest sparring ever.” In November last year, Laval nailed his opponent on the spot – it looks scary.