Tony Bellew went head-to-head last night with Oleksandr Usyk at Wembley stadium ahead of their November 10 clash in Manchester for the WBO, WBC, WBA and IBF cruiserweight belts.
The Liverpudlian received an early opportunity to size-up the Ukrainian pound-for-pound star as they both stepped between the ropes at the national stadium. And in-front of a sell-out crowd the pair had a public face-off in the middle of the ring.
Usyk won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games and became the WBO champion in just his tenth fight, having risen through the ranks from amateur to a top professional within the space of four years.
The 31-year-old Ukrainian now holds all four world cruiserweight belts after his stunning victory over Russian bruiser Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series final in July this year.
‘The Bomber’ has vowed to become the new undisputed champion after agreeing to step down a division following his back-to-back convincing victories over David Haye at heavyweight.
As the previous holder of the WBC cruiserweight title following his knockout win over Congolese Ilunga Makubu, Bellew admitted that this would be the most “dangerous fight of his life” having competed in 33 bouts to date.
As you can see below, neither wanted to give their opponent an inch during the staredown. It was intense!
After the face-off last night, Kugan Cassius of IFL TV tweeted Bellew suggesting that Usyk had no chance of understanding a word that came out of the Merseysider’s mouth.
Bellew responded this morning, tweeting:
“He did mate…I basically just said ‘I’m here now superstar.’ That was it…no disrespect I just told him what he already knows.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Fight Hype, Bellew added there was a bit more to their conversation.
"I told him to his face: 'You are nothing, I don't fear nothing, I don't fear you, I am not in awe of you and on November 10th I am going to punch you in the face as hard as I can.'"
Despite Bellew’s ability to defy the odds and emerge victorious from seemingly impossible situations, there is concern from not only fight fans but ‘The Bomber’s’ promoter Eddie Hearn, who revealed earlier his week that is was in fact Usyk who instigated the fight by calling out Bellew.
“I wasn’t mad on the fight because it’s a very dangerous fight,” Hearn admitted.
“I would always joke with Tony and say, ‘I ain’t letting you fight Usyk.’ We talked about the Usyk – Gassiev winner and I told him, ‘I’m not letting you fight him.’
“I know he’s up against it but I see this as a 50-50 fight now. I see odds at 4/1 for Bellew and stuff like that but I see a 50-50 fight as Tony finds ways to win.
“With this fight if he wins he would have done absolutely everything and more than he could have ever dreamed of so for me, win or lose, this is Bellew’s last fight.”News Now - Sport News