Cruiserweight world titleholder Oleksandr Usyk announced on Sunday night that he has changed trainers. Out is James Ali Bashir, and in is Anatoly Lomachenko.
"Bashir is a very nice man and good trainer. He has his own approach to training, but the moment came when I realized that it was not enough for me any longer," Usyk said in a statement. "That is why I decided to change everything that I did before. I am very grateful to him for being with me all this time. There is nothing personal, just business. I think we will stay in touch in the future."
Lomachenko is the father and trainer of Usyk's close friend and 2012 Ukrainian Olympic teammate Vasyl Lomachenko, the two-time gold medalist, former featherweight world titleholder and reigning junior lightweight titlist.
In September, the 30-year-old Usyk (11-0, 10 KOs), who won the 2012 Olympic heavyweight gold medal, set the cruiserweight division record for fewest fights needed to win a world title when he broke Evander Holyfield's mark of 12 by outpointing Krzysztof Glowacki to win a 200-pound belt in his 10th professional bout, in Glowacki's home country of Poland.
Usyk made his first defense on Dec. 17, scoring three knockdowns en route to a ninth-round knockout of South Africa's Thabiso Mchunu on the Bernard Hopkins-Joe Smith Jr. undercard at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Usyk's second title defense has not yet been scheduled.