Usyk: Bellew Definitely My Best Opponent; He's Really Dangerous

By Keith Idec

The one-sided odds notwithstanding, Oleksandr Usyk considers Tony Bellew the most imposing opponent of his boxing career.

“Definitely, yes,” Usyk said Thursday during a press conference in Manchester, England. “Tony is my best opponent ever. He is really dangerous. He is the same height [6-feet-3], same weight. Look at his eyes – they are angry.”

Ukraine’s Usyk, 31, is consistently listed as at least a 7-1 favorite over Liverpool’s Bellew, 35, in advance of their 12-round cruiserweight championship match Saturday night. They’ll fight for Usyk’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO cruiserweight titles in a Sky Sports Box Office main event from Manchester Arena (DAZN in the United States).

usyk-bellew (34)

Bellew was, for all intents and purposes, retired before Usyk called him out following his impressive victory over Russia’s Murat Gassiev on July 21 in Moscow. Once Usyk mentioned boxing Bellew next, negotiations began for their fight Saturday night.

Bellew will move back down to cruiserweight after scoring back-to-back technical-knockout victories over David Haye in heavyweight bouts in March 2017 and May 5, both at O2 Arena in London. He won the WBC world cruiserweight title during his brief time in that division, yet realizes he’ll encounter an extremely skilled, smart southpaw in what Bellew says will be his final fight.

“I am about to take the biggest step that any British fighter has ever taken,” Bellew said Thursday. “I can lose this fight. He is very good. But I don’t think I will. I will beat him, stop him and break his heart. Time to let a monster catch a monster!”

Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) is the undisputed cruiserweight champion after dominating Gassiev (26-1, 19 KOs) to win a unanimous decision in the World Boxing Super Series final.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist previously defeated former WBC champ Mairis Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs) and ex-WBO champ Marco Huck (41-5-1, 28 KOs) in the WBSS tournament.

“We all fail in life,” Bellew said. “I have failed on a greater scale. But I have also reached greater heights. To reach great goals, you have to take great risks. If he’s as good as everyone says, I may lose. But what would have haunted me more is if I stayed retired – when he called, I walked away. That would have haunted me.”

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 MinuteMaid5 on 11-10-2018

Is this fight on tonight?

Comment by P4Pdunny on 11-10-2018

Not his best opponent but Bellew will make him work for the victory I think

Comment by GlassJoey on 11-10-2018

[QUOTE=Mammoth;19261350]He's not even his best opponent this year[/QUOTE] He’ll make more of a show of it than Gassiev and with some of the Matchroom judges and refs you can’t be sure there won’t be a big surprise

Comment by Mammoth on 11-10-2018

He's not even his best opponent this year

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Fabio Turchi Aims To Make Boxing a Mainstream Sport in Italy Kal Yafai: Chocolatito Still a Massive Name, a Huge Fight For Me News: Kye Brooks, Michael McGurk, David Brophy, More Jaron Ennis' Promoter on 'Phenomenal' Skills and Talent Broner: Glad Roach Is Back, So We Can Get This Thing Shakin' Pacquiao: I Don't Feel 40, I'll Continue as Long as I Can Still Fight Barclays Remains a Top Boxing Destination With 'Creed II' Filming Fury Claims He Was Only at "50%" When He Beat Klitschko Tyrone Nurse pondering next move after third consecutive loss Ivana Habazin vs. Eva Bajic Rematch on Hrgovic-Perea Card Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Reunion in Los Angeles Broner: Pacquiao Been KO'd 3 Times - No NyQuil To Sleep Him! UK News: McFadden, McKenna, Redfearn, Ellis, Hughes, More Gervonta Davis Says He'll Fight Abner Mares February 9 In SoCal Michael Conlan Very Comfortable With The Pressures of Boxing Canelo on Mayweather Rematch: Anytime He's Ready! Rigondeaux Training With Ronnie Shields, PBC in Corner Too Luis Nery vs. Carlos Sardinez on December 1 in Saltillo Lipinets: Loss To Mikey Garcia Prepared Me For Lamont Peterson Broner: Pacquiao is a Black Fighter - F***ed Up Money & Taxes! Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Face To Face in LA Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have No Deal Yet Rob Brant Inks Co-Promotional Deal With Top Rank Espinoza: If You Think Broner Is Easy For Pacquiao, Think Again Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding To Hit Movie Theaters LIVE STREAM: Pacquiao-Broner - Los Angeles Press Conference Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury: More Tickets Released at Staples Photos: Pacquiao Hits The Basketball Court, Becomes 'Air Manny' Bryant Jennings vs. Oscar Rivas Finalized For January 18, ESPN+ Giovanni Mioletti Keeps Record Intact With Another Stoppage Win Peter Kadiru Goes Pro, To Be Advised By Klitschko's Manager Wilder, Fury, Hurd, Ortiz Share What They Are Thankful For Martin Murray vs. Hassan N'Dam is Set For Warrington-Frampton Wilder vs. Fury PPV Will Be Available Via The Showtime App Breazeale: The Ultimate Goal is Anthony Joshua Rematch Pacquiao: Right Now, I Have No Intention Of Running For President Sanchez: They Are All Using Golovkin's Name To Stay Relevant! Joseph Parker on Dealing With Adversity Versus Dillian Whyte Frank Warren: I've Never Seen Tyson Fury This Determined Tommy Coyle: I Fight Because I Love it, But It's a Dangerous Game

Latest Active Forum Threads