Boxer Tony Bellew Looking to Go Out on Top Against Undefeated Oleksandr Usyk

In what could be his last boxing match, Tony Bellew looks to become a champion again against Oleksandr Usyk this weekend in England.

Updated: Nov. 8, 2018 • 3:30 PM ET


Oleksandr Usyk looks to keep his unblemished record this weekend.

The undisputed and unified cruiserweight champion will be back in action this Saturday, as Oleksandr Usyk will defend his titles against Tony Bellew at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Usyk is the first fighter at cruiserweight to hold all four major championships at the same time and has been the undisputed champion since July 2018. The accomplished Ukrainian claimed the WBO title in 2016, then snatched the WBC title in January and the WBA and IBF titles in July.

Usyk has also won a gold medal fighting at heavyweight at the 2008 European Championships, 2011 World Championships and 2012 London Olympic Games. He then turned professional in 2013 and signed a deal with the Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions.

Usyk, 31 years old and 15-0 with 11 knockouts, most recently defeated Murat Gassiev by unanimous decision in July at Olympic Stadium in Russia. He also has key wins over Michael Hunter, Marco Huck, Maris Briedis and Thabiso Mchunu. Nevertheless, Bellew represents a new challenge for Usyk, as the former will fight near his Liverpool birth place on Saturday. There’s no doubt that Usyk will head into enemy territory, but he’ll also face a fighter that is on a 10-fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since 2013.

Bellew is a former cruiserweight champion, who has also fought for a light heavyweight title, and has been widely considered one of the most popular boxers from England in the last decade. His last two fights were both victories over fellow British fighter David Haye at the O2 Arena in London, the second coming in just over 14 months after the first.

Win or lose on Saturday, Bellew believes this will be his last boxing match.

“It’s all over on Saturday night, it’s winner-take-all and I can’t wait,” Bellew recently told talkSPORT. “Regardless of the outcome it’s all over, Saturday night is the final fight of my career. This is the last time I have to dance, this is the last time I have to put my neck on the line, this is the last time I risk everything and I’m a risking it all for the dream.”

Aside Haye, Bellew has also defeated fighters that include BJ Flores, Ilunga Makabu, Mateusz Masternak, Arturs Kulikauskis and Isaac Chilemba. Usyk will represent his greatest challenge, as he’ll have to defend his home turf to become an undisputed champion in what could be the last fight of his career. So far, no fighter has been able to expose any weaknesses in Usyk.

The card will also feature a WBA lightweight title eliminator between former champions Anthony Crolla and Daud Yordan.

Crolla (33-6-3, 13 KOs) has won two straight fights and will have the support of the crowd, as he also fights out of Manchester. His last victory came against Edson Ramirez in March, and the 31-year-old previously held the WBA title from November 2015 to September 2016.

Yordan (38-3, 26 KOs) is a former IBO featherweight and lightweight champion and riding an eight-fight winning streak. The 31-year-old last defeated Pavel Malikov by knockout in April and hasn’t lost since April 2013, when he turned over the IBO featherweight title to Simpiwe Vetyeka.

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