By Adrian Hughes – Billed as ‘He who Dares’, I look to preview this fantastic main event fight due to take place on November 10th in Manchester. In what is going to be Tony Bellew’s last fight he is sure to face without a doubt his greatest challenge to date.
In Oleksandr Usyk, Bellew is facing who I believe to be one of the best fighters pound for pound in the world. A fighter who has already become the undisputed cruiserweight champion in 15 fights, and the inaugural winner of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) and is sure to go down as an all-time great in what will likely be his last fight at this weight before he starts his assault on the ‘glamour’ heavyweight division. The question we are all asking is how does Tony win this fight?
Well, Tony knows the game inside out and has a fantastic boxing brain and ring generalship. He also has Dave Coldwell in his corner, who is without a doubt one of the best trainers in this country at the minute. They will look to come up with a watertight game plan to try to put Usyk off his stride. As Tony has moved through the weight classes his power has never faltered and can harness the power to trouble any cruiserweight in the world. He is also a great counter puncher as demonstrated when he beat David Haye back in May of this year.
Oleksandr Usyk has a fantastic boxing technique and work rate and completely shut down the big punching Murat Gassiev last time out hardly breaking into a sweat in unifying the division. All of this in his opponent’s backyard, so will not be intimidated by facing Bellew in Manchester. He will look to force the pace again, dominate with the jab and stop Tony from doing much of his own work.
Tony Bellew’s best chance in this fight is to land that big counter right hand and test Usyks chin as he has gone largely untested in his career to date and no one knows how he will react to adversity.
My gut feeling, however, is with Bellew having to lose a lot of weight to get back down to the cruiserweight limit his stamina in the 2nd half of the fight may be found wanting and Usyk will ultimately cruise to a wide points decision or a late stoppage victory.
One thing is for certain we should never write Tony off and we should all get behind him for this final chapter in his boxing story. Good luck Tony.