Tony Bellew has told the doubters that he will ‘prove people wrong again’ and that he has ‘nothing to lose’ after his mouth-watering cruiserweight unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk was confirmed for November 10 at the Manchester Arena.
Bellew will face off against unbeaten Usyk for his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles as well as the Ring Magazine belt, after the fight was confirmed yesterday by Eddie Hearn and the Matchroom promotional team.
Bellew spoke yesterday that he is taking on the ‘impossible’ in fighting Usyk and lots of people are already writing him off, stating that he has little chance against the slick Usyk who has barely put a foot wrong in his professional career to date.
Bellew was famously written off by many pundits and fans before his first fight with David Haye, before he upset the odds and won the fight by TKO in the 11th round.
However, Haye injured his Achilles in the fight and the performance was still questioned in some quarters. This led to an inevitable rematch, for which many again dismissed Bellew’s chances.
In the second fight, he ended Haye’s career by demolishing him in five rounds in arguably his best performance of his career.
That performance set up the fight with Usyk, who became the unified cruiserweight champion of the world with a dominant performance in the World Boxing Super Series final against Russian Murat Gassiev.
His former foe Haye has commented on the upcoming bout, saying: "Whoever says 'he's got no chance against Usyk' were the same people who said 'he's got no chance against David Haye, he's too big and too strong'.
"I definitely feel you underestimate Tony Bellew at your peril."
Haye believes that Bellew is more than capable of prevailing in the bout and will use his underdog status to his advantage again.
"A lot of people didn't give Tony Bellew a chance of beating me on both occasions, and he did," added Haye.
"That's the thing, no one gave Tony Bellew a chance of winning the cruiserweight title as well, and he did it.
"If anyone's going to be able to cause an upset from being an underdog, the guy who has consistently been that guy is the guy to do it again."
The fight promises to be Bellew’s toughest test in the ring and could potentially be his last before hanging up the gloves.
After starring in the film Creed, winning his dream fight at Goodison Park, becoming a world champion at cruiserweight, before stepping up to heavyweight and beating Haye twice, who is to say that Bellew isn’t capable of writing one last perfect script to finish his career on a high.