Was it just me or did anyone else find it refreshing to see two fighters conduct themselves with class this past weekend?
Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew gave respect aplenty, breaking the normality of trash talk which is hastily taking the shape of a rap battle for most high profile bouts.
Before I get inundated with the reasoning behind the method, I know and appreciate that its a way of generating interest, a marketing ploy which has been tried and tested through generations but from a personal standpoint every now and then its nice to break the trend, allowing the fight to speak for itself which is what happened in Manchester this past weekend.
B Rabbit (Eminem’s character in 8 Mile) was nowhere to be seen on this occasion as both shook hands, embraced and wished the other the best of luck in preparation for war.
Oleksandr Usyk operates at a level of confidence that doesn’t need embellishment, coming into the fight with the expectation of dominance that we have come to expect whilst standing across from him was the former world champion Tony Bellew who momentarily held on to the faint chance that he would get his happily ever after in his last ever visit to the squared circle.
A thought process which unfortunately for him, had the curtains pulled in the eighth as he lay with his head propped up from the bottom rope after a well placed left hand detonated off his chin.
Up until that point, Bellew gave a good account of himself, nicking a few rounds early in a tactical display, but even then the staunchest supporter of the Liverpudlian probably got the feeling that it could end whenever Usyk felt the need, it was kind of like a cat playing with a ball of yarn.
It showed the vastness of the Ukrainians arsenal, giving another argument for his standing in most peoples pound 4 pound listings as he put to bed another former world champion with the ease of a seasoned professional, whereas in reality we probably haven’t seen him at his best yet, it’s a scary thought.
Turning his attention to the heavyweight division having cleaned house at Cruiser, Usyk told a crowded media room afterwards that it wasn’t his dream to become heavyweight world champion, just a goal which he will achieve.
Mimicking a hitman striking names off a list he awaits his next assignment, diverting the decision-making process to his team with the ever enticing encounter of Anthony Joshua high on the agenda.
Bellew will walk off into the sunset in the knowledge that he ducked no challenge and accomplished the incredible feats of British, European and World honours on route to becoming a fighter that was loved by many due to his warrior mentality.
A lot of people shunned his decision to face Usyk, believing it to be lunacy but Bellew knew it was an opportunity to measure himself against the truly elite, an opportunity that wouldn’t come knocking again, deep down he needed to know if he could compete at the level at which Usyk operates, he got his answer after eight rounds but won’t have had second thoughts.
“No excuses, I won’t make any. I lost to the best fighter I have ever faced. I am not weight drained. He was awkward, intelligent. He fell for my traps a few times. But ultimately he got me.
“He is potentially the greatest cruiserweight that’s ever lived. For me it is always Evander Holyfield but Usyk’s done what no other cruiserweight has ever done by having all four belts.”
In a career that spanned 11 years, Bellew can walk away with a puffed out chest with his chin pointing upwards, he is a fighter that left no stone unturned in his pursuit of entertaining fight fans worldwide and we wish him every happiness in his next venture whatever that may be.
Thank you as always for reading this weeks #MyTake – Let me know your thoughts on Usyk as a heavyweight by tweeting me @TOPCLASSBOXING