By Keith Idec
Tony Bellew doesn’t deny Oleksandr Usyk’s greatness.
The former WBC cruiserweight champion called Usyk “amazing” during a press conference Monday in Manchester, England.
The Liverpool native admires everything Usyk has accomplished as an amateur and as a pro, and recognizes his upcoming opponent is one of the best boxers in the world.
One of the advantages Bellew believes he has over the unbeaten Ukrainian southpaw, though, is power. The underdog considers power his equalizer in their November 10 fight for Usyk’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO cruiserweight titles.
“He’s an amazing champion,” Bellew said. “I’m a fan. … He’s amazing at what he does, but there’s being an amazing amateur, and then there’s being something else in the professional ranks. And he’s gonna learn on November the 10th that I bring something different than everyone else. And let’s not forget, I have the one thing that he doesn’t have – and that’s a punch that can switch lights off within the blink of an eye [snaps fingers].
“Just one wrong step, one wrong maneuver, and it’s over. I’ve showed that. And I’ve seen people say, ‘No, he only beat an old man in David Haye.’ Well, OK, I’m good at beating old men. But every time I moved up I always find a way, and on November the 10th it’s gonna be no different.”
Usyk, 31, laughed when Bellew’s comments about his power advantage were translated for him.
“He’s kidding,” Usyk said.
Bellew, 35, assured Usyk his power isn’t something the defending champion should underestimate.
“We will see, my friend,” Bellew said. “We will soon see. I do not play. I wish I could play games, but I can’t. On November the 10th, we will see.”
After stopping favored David Haye in each of their two heavyweight fights, Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) is looking forward to pulling off an even bigger upset against Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs).
“He’s the best,” said Bellew, who sparred versus Usyk several years ago in Ukraine. “There’s no two ways about it. And believe you me, after I beat him on November the 10th, he’s gonna win a portion of the heavyweight championship of the world. I know it. I’ve watched him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.