Should be a cracker this and it could be over quite quickly. We all know about the fat gobby scouser Bellew, his words not mine. Not so many know a great deal about Oleksandr Usyk. For Bellew’s part he’s always done what he’s said he will do – Adonis Stevenson aside – and I think we can let him off there.
Yes he lost to Nathan Cleverley at Light Heavyweight but he avenged that loss at Cruiserweight and of course saw off David Haye twice in his most recent bouts. Some hate him some love him but he’s made the most of what he’s got and you can’t fault him for that.
Anthony Joshua says undisputed Cruiserweight champion Usyk is the perfect boxer. He’s quick, he’s savage and he’s fearless, that confidence coming from the fact he’s never really been troubled in his 15 wins from 15 fights, 11 by knockout. That being said you may not recognise the names of too many of his victims so far but that’s not to be entirely unexpected in such a short pro career. The body shot v Crenz is a particular highlight and the way he wins reminds me a bit of Gennady Golovkin.
Most of his opponents stand zero chance of fighting on once they’ve gone down. He didn’t take out Murat Gassiev to win the Super 6 – he won by unanimous decision – but Gassiev himself was unbeaten too at the time. His 26 win record with 19 knockouts is not to be dismissed.
Usyk is 1/5 with most bookies to take this but Tony Bellew presents problems that he will not have faced before. I’m probably going with my heart rather than my head on this but I see similarities between this bout and when Carl Froch fought Lucian Bute. Froch was a big underdog versus the extremely heavy-handed Bute but the Cobra took him apart. Bute has lost four of his subsequent six fights including the last three, seemingly broken from the Froch fight and unable to cope when someone gives him a few digs back.
Does Usyk Have The Chin?
Usyk hasn’t taken a Bellew left hook before and when he does it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts. For Bellew’s part he has been rocked aside from the Stevenson fight but David Haye landed a fair few shots over their two contests. Haye was clearly past his best by then but he’s always been one of the hardest punchers in the game and the Bomber absorbed all that was thrown at him. Bellew also moved better than I expected v Haye and is clearly in a good place physically. Ilunga Makabu put him down but Bellew was straight back up and returned the favour to take the title in the third.
All in all then I’m going to take the near 5/1 on offer for a Tony Bellew win. Win or lose those odds are incorrect but if you want bigger there’s 100/1 available to new customers in some places if you shop around.