In what he claims is the last fight of his career, Englishman Tony Bellew takes on Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk for all the cruiserweight titles this Saturday.
Fighting at the Manchester Arena, on Saturday, November 10th 2018, former WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew, 35, has dropped back down a weight after beating David Haye at heavyweight. However, he goes into this fight as the underdog against the 31-year-old Ukranian.
Usyk, the undefeated, unified cruiserweight champion, won heavyweight gold at the London 2012 Olympics, the same year Anthony Joshua won the super heavyweight division. Known as ‘The Cat’, he has a record of 15-0 with 11 knockouts, since turning pro in 2013.
OLEKSANDR USYK (Ukraine)
WBC Cruiserweight World Champion, 2nd Title Defence
Age: 31 / Date of birth: January 17, 1987
Residence, birthplace: Simferopol, Ukraine
Record: 15-0, 11 KOs / Total rounds: 117
World championship fights: 6-0, 2 KOs
Height: 6’3″ – 190 cm / Reach: 78″ – 198 cm / Stance: Left-handed
Manager: Egis Klimas / Trainer: Sergei Vatamanyuk
TONY “Bomber” BELLEW (United Kingdom)
WBC Champion Emeritus / Former WBC Cruiserweight World Champion, 1 Successful Defence
Age: 35 / Date of birth: November 30, 1982
Residence, birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Record: 30-2-1, 20 KOs / Total rounds: 216
World championship fights: 2-2, 2 KOs
Height: 6’3″ – 191 cm / Reach: 74″ – 188 cm / Stance: Right-handed
Promoter: Matchroom Boxing / Trainer: Dave Coldwell
Bellew with his record of 30-2-1, including 19 knockouts, says his self-confidence has never been bigger:
“I’m not in awe of this man, I do not fear this man and I will not stand there and let him rattle five and six punch combinations off my head,” Bellew told ESPN.
“That cannot happen. This fella will feel what I’ve got. At no moment will I feel I’m beaten, no chance.”
“Some say I’m arrogant, some say I’m deluded. Not at all, I just keep fighting and winning and trying to be the best version of me, and I will be the best version of me when I get in that ring.”
Usyk meanwhile is already looking beyond Bellew and has heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in his sights:
“One reason we have agreed to fight Bellew is to get to Joshua.”
“It is exactly part of the strategy and why we have this cooperation with Eddie Hearn [Bellew’s promoter for this fight].”
“He [Eddie Hearn] has Tony Bellew, he has Anthony Joshua, he has Dillian Whyte and a couple more heavyweights. It’s the best way, the shortest – not the easiest – way to fight Anthony.”