Undisputed WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) punctuated his standing as one of boxing’s elite with the knockout of former WBC champ Tony Bellew (30-3-1, 20 KOs) in the eighth round at the Manchester Arena on Saturday Night.
Bellew was up on two of the three scorecards entering the contests closer, edging a tactical display from both men, Usyk bided his time, upping the pressure in the seventh before sending the Liverpudlian into retirement with a crushing left hand in the eighth, leaving any dreams of a victory parade in tatters. Time was 2:00.
“I had the most difficult year in my life, now I want to relax and spend time with my family and after that I will think about the future,” Usyk said afterwards. “We need to put goals in front of us and move towards them.”
Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions, which co-promotes Usyk with Matchroom added: “He definitely needs to fight Anthony Joshua.”
Classy till the end Bellew gave his opinion on the fight saying “I tried to go for it because I thought I was behind, He’s a brilliant fighter, he’s hard to pin down. I fought the very, very best, and he’s just better than me.
“Usyk is pound-for-pound material, the best I’ve ever fought. Anyone who fights him is in trouble.
“That’s definitely the end [of my career].”
Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs) moved into pole position for a shot at the WBA lightweight title with a twelve round decision over Daud Yordan (38-4, 26 KOs). Scores were 116-112 on all three scorecards.
Lomachenko’s name kept cropping up after the fight which Crolla answered with “I will never disrespect Vasyl Lomachenko by calling him out, but if I’m mandatory challenger you never know it could happen, I would love to have it.”
Former Three-weight world champion Ricky Burns (43-7-1, 16 KOs) breathed life into his stuttering career with a third round knockout of Scott Cardle (23–3-1, 7 KOs).
Heavyweight David Allen (16-4-2, 13 KOs) stopped Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (8-2, 5 KOs) in the seventh after the latter was unable to continue.
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