Advertisement: IBO Boxing

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
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 !

Top Headlines
USA Boxing Olympic Qualification: Draw For Strandja Tournament Set Lawrence Okolie Could See a Move To Heavyweight in 2021 Fortuna-Campbell: WBC Grants One Week Extension, Purse Bid Hearing Delayed Rosario Knew He 'Had Williams When They Offered Me The Fight' Julian Williams: I've Been Here Before; I'll Bounce Back Even Better Rosario's Promoter: Julian Williams 'Definitely' Overlooked Him! Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas To Carry Full VADA Testing Triple WBA World Title Rumble in "KO To Drugs" Festival in Panama Significant Continental Forum 2020 AIBA in Panama UFC's White Compares McGregor To Ali, Tyson, Leonard Tyson Fury Maps Next Three Fights: Wilder, Joshua, Then Whyte Jeison Rosario Breaks Down TKO of Julian Williams All Roads Lead To Floyd Mayweather. Still. Tyson Fury: After I Beat Wilder - I'll Sit Down With Dana White Alberto Machado's Handlers Pushing For Francisco Vargas Clash Oubaali vs. Donaire WBC Bantamweight Title Fight Heads To Purse Bid Hearing McGregor: Mayweather Going Through Money Fast - Rematch Will Happen Fortuna vs. Campbell: WBC Orders Purse Bid, Jan. 21 in Mexico City Claressa Shields Fires Back at Laila Ali: You're All Bark, No Bite! Chris Colbert: I Knew I Was Going To Dominate The Corrales Fight Felix Verdejo: I Give Myself a 'C' - I Want To Keep Working Hard Alvarez: I Wanted To Come Back as The Fighter That Beat Kovalev Rosario: I Saw My Power Affected Julian Williams Right Away Eleider Alvarez Blasts Out Michael Seals With One Shot Julian Williams: I Have Rematch Clause, It Will Be Immediate! Jeison Rosario Batters Julian Williams in Huge Upset Felix Verdejo, Christopher Diaz Get Wins in New York Jonathan Guzman Blasts Hernandez in Knockdown War Joey Spencer: I'm Going To Stay Busy, Have Four Fights in 2020 Tyson Fury: McGregor Back in Boxing is Great For The Sport! Floyd Mayweather Teases Rematch With Conor McGregor Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals - CompuBox Punch Stats Jeison Rosario vs. Julian Williams - CompuBox Punch Stats Eleider Alvarez Crushes Michael Seals With One Shot in Seventh Eleider Alvarez vs. Michael Seals - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Felix Verdejo Easily Decisions Manuel Rey Rojas Over 10 Rounds Jeison Rosario Batters Julian Williams For TKO in Five, Shocker To Win Titles Julian Williams vs. Jeison Rosario - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Colbert Drops, Out-Points Corrales; Wins WBA Interim 130-Pound Title Joey Spencer Stays Unbeaten, Out-Points Spring In 6-Rounder
Latest Forum Threads