We do have a big boxing match to look forward to this Saturday, November 10th from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, as Oleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) puts his undisputed cruiserweight champion status on the line against England’s Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs), himself a former WBC champion in the division.
If there’s a frontrunner for boxing’s Fighter of the Year for 2018, it’s not Vasyl Lomachenko, but rather his fellow Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Usyk. Having entered the World Boxing Super Series as the WBO champion, he unified the entire cruiserweight division’s four major titles (WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO) through the World Boxing Super Series, taking the WBC title from Latvia’s Mairis Briedis in the semifinals in January, then dominating Russian power-puncher Murat Gassiev in the final in July to take the WBA and IBF straps. The most impressive thing? All three of his wins (including vs. Germany’s Marco Huck in September 2017) came in enemy territory. Now he’s once again going on the road, becoming the first undisputed champion boxer in the four-belt era — the WBO was recognized as a major sanctioning body in 2007 — to put all of his titles at stake. Much like Lomachenko, Usyk dazzles with smooth footwork, volume punching, and absurd cardio.
Bellew has become a popular figure in his home country, and not because he was in the movie Creed. Having unsuccessfully challenged for light-heavyweight titles on multiple occasions, Bellew moved up from 175 to 200 lbs, and in May 2016 he scored a vicious KO against Ilunga Makabu to win the WBC title. After a ridiculous title defense against an overmatched BJ Flores, he moved up to heavyweight for a big-money clash with David Haye in March 2017, scoring a TKO win after Haye hurt his achilles and could hardly stay on his feet. The rematch in May 2018 had no controversy, as Bellew knocked Haye into retirement. He is definitely a powerful fighter but even he admits he’s an inferior boxer, and this is one hell of an opportunity for the Liverpool native in what he vows will be the final fight of his career.
It could be a storybook ending for Bellew, or yet another chapter in the meteoric rise of one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. Usyk is a heavy favorite, and it’s expected that he could even be a potential opponent for Anthony Joshua, as he plans to move to heavyweight in 2019.
Bloody Elbow will have full fight coverage throughout the week for this showdown, which airs live on Sky Box Office in the United Kingdom, but is also available for DAZN subscribers starting at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT. The main event should kick off at around 5 PM ET/2 PM PT.
Are you feel?