Bellew: Usyk Best I've Fought; Only Best, Biggest Will Beat Him

By Keith Idec

Oleksandr Usyk was even better then Tony Bellew expected.

Bellew knew he would encounter one of the best boxers in the sport Saturday night in Manchester, England. The former WBC world cruiserweight champion was prepared well enough for that type of challenge to keep their scheduled 12-round fight very competitive through seven rounds.

Ukraine’s Usyk ultimately overwhelmed him and punctuated an impressive victory by whacking Bellew with a left hand that knocked him out in the eighth round. England’s Bellew was ahead on two scorecards (68-65, 67-66, 67-67) when referee Terry O’Connor stopped their fight exactly two minutes into that eighth round at Manchester Arena.

“I tried my best, but I’m just not – I’m a world-class fighter,” Bellew told Sky Sports. “That’s the difference between world class and elite level. It’s heartbreaking, man, because I gave this everything I possibly had. That’s the way it goes, so Oleksandr, I only wish you well. You are a great, great champion.”

usyk-bellew-fight (5)

Usyk, 31, remained unbeaten (16-0, 12 KOs) and retained his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO cruiserweight titles. Bellew, 35, reiterated that this loss will mark the end of his 11-year professional career.

“Oh,” Bellew said, “it’s definitely the end.”

Bellew basically was retired following his second technical-knockout win over David Haye when Usyk called him out July 21. Once Usyk mentioned Bellew’s name following his dominant win against Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final, Bellew was determined to prove he could defeat one of the world’s best boxers.

Bellew acknowledged after just the second knockout loss of his career that he was wrong.

 “I fought the very, very best,” said Bellew, who suffered his previous losses to Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson. “He’s just better than me. Just accept it, man. You come up against great people in life, and sometimes you lose – you’ve just gotta accept it. Oleksandr Usyk is pound-for-pound material. Man, I’ve got nothing but great things to say about him. He’s the best I’ve ever fought. He’s slick, he’s strong and he’s exceptional. And I give him his credit.”

Usyk could move up to heavyweight for his next fight and is expected to pursue a shot at British superstar Anthony Joshua, the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champ. Bellew (30-3-1, 20 KOs) knows that the 6-feet-3 technician will be a difficult foe for even huge heavyweights like the 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs).

“Fair play, man,” Bellew said. “He’s an exceptional champion. I’ve got nothing but respect for him. Anyone who faces him has got a lot of trouble. Only the very best and only the very biggest will find a way to beat him. He’s great.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Pennsauken1 on 11-11-2018

So this is the next UK Hope, who just beat a bum who got glorified for beating another washed up faded bum in David Haye, stop it

Comment by H-Tok on 11-11-2018

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;19264788]Adonis Stevenson knocked out Bellew faster than Usyk did. Just sayin'.[/QUOTE] shhhhh they dont want to be reminded about the truth. let them believe in their dreams :boxing:

Comment by hugh grant on 11-11-2018

Of course usyk was better than he expected, considering belle w predicted he'd beat usyk.

Comment by 7NN on 11-11-2018

[QUOTE=H-Tok;19264639]Usyk is not beating Joshua, Wilder, Fury, Ortiz, i give him a chance against Povetkin tho[/QUOTE] How big of a chance? :friday::beerchug:

Comment by SugarRaRobinson on 11-11-2018

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;19264788]Adonis Stevenson knocked out Bellew faster than Usyk did. Just sayin'.[/QUOTE] Exactly, you’d think he knocked out Joshua the way these Fanboys are taking already. It’s so comical !

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (18)
Top Headlines Baysangurov and AmirKhanyan Headline Show in Kazan Hearn: DAZN wants Canelo to Fight Jacobs and GGG Next Year Chisora Vows To Pounce on Whyte, Take Him To War Showtime To Air Whyte-Chisora Rematch Live Saturday From London Barthelemy Could See Pacquiao Stopping Broner in Six Rounds Hearn: Deontay Wilder Not a PPV Star; Talks With His Team Better Jacobs: I'll Move Up To 168 To Fight Canelo; Doesn't Matter To Me Whyte Brushes Off Joshua's Prediction of Chisora Victory Warrington: I Don't View Frampton as Elite, Has Weaknesses Martin Murray Does Not Plan To Rebuild Again if He Loses Povetkin Interested in Facing Whyte or Chisora in 2019 De La Hoya: Canelo Must KO Golovkin in Trilogy, No Decision David Price is Desperate To Taste Victory Again Jermell Charlo Preps For Harrison With a Brooklyn State of Mind De La Hoya: Canelo's KO Opens Doors To New Opponents At 168 Referee Having Sleepless Nights Over Stevenson Outcome David Lemieux Will Fight Next at 168-Pounds, Says Estephan Photos: Manny Pacquiao Celebrates, Throws 40th Birthday Bash David Benavidez: I'm Hungrier Than Ever, More Motivated Dana White Reacts To De La Hoya's Challenge To Fight on May 4 Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne Finalized For Pacquiao-Broner Photos: Pacquiao, Birthday Aside, Putting in Work For Broner Claressa Shields - BWAA's 2018 Female Fighter of the Year Joshua-Miller At MSG Could Bring Khan-Brook To Wembley 4/13 Korobov: Charlo Just Saying It, He Should Prove It In The Ring Anthony Joshua Backs Dereck Chisora To 'Whoop' Dillian Whyte News: Lolenga Mock, Shohjahon Ergashev, Frampton-Warrington Jon Fernandez Bounces Back With TKO Win in Ponferrada, Spain Jaime Munguia vs. Takeshi Inoue - Undercard is Revealed WBC To Fully Investigate Monroe's Use of Testosterone Booster Jermall Charlo vs. Matt Korobov Set Down, Monroe Out Harrison Says Stamina Issues Are Solved as Charlo Fight Nears Wilder: Joshua Skipped Fury Fight To Avoid 'Hard Questions' Jermall Charlo: Canelo is Scared. Where Are You At, Cinnamon? Sulaiman: I'm Certain Joshua Will Eventually Fight For WBC Title Lamont Roach Ready For Title Shot After Beating Mercado Rances Barthelemy Feels Rejuvenated Under Joel Casamayor Joseph Parker: We Wanted To End The Year With a Bang Canelo Could Headline in Mexico in 2019, Says De La Hoya Saunders Credits Tyson Fury With Getting Him Back on Track

Latest Active Forum Threads