Boxing

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When Oleksandr Usyk made his opponent eat his words during 2014 fight

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The wait is almost over for Oleksandr Usyk to step into the ring to fight Tony Bellew, in one of the most hotly anticipated events of the 2018 boxing calendar.

All of the undisputed cruiserweight champion's titles will be on the line, in the bout at Manchester Arena on Saturday night.

The Russian has held all four cruiserweight titles since beating Murat Gassiev in Jeddah this summer, winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the process.

Remarkably, the 31-year-old achieved his undisputed status just 15 fights into his professional career, an achievement that remains an all-time boxing record.

Usyk now faces Bellew in a fight that many believe the former Olympian would have ideally wanted to be held at the heavyweight class, as bids to move up the weight classes and eventually challenge Anthony Joshua.

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Speaking at the weigh-in, Bellew said: '''He's a formidable champion, pound-for-pound one of the kings of the world. I've been the underdog so many times, they may as well start calling me the overdog... but the only person who beats me is me. Tomorrow night I'll be crowned the king of the world.''

Despite his confidence, Bellew will want to be wary of underestimating Usyk's powerful punching.

Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew Media Workout

Back in October 2014, Usyk beat South African Daniel Bruwer for the Interim WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title.

Brewer went into the bout with 21 knockouts to his name, and as the WBF International cruiserweight champion, and was keen to stress the likelihood of him overpowering Usyk in the ring.

Osyk eventually stopped Bruwer through a technical knockout in the seventh round, with the South African taking multiple undefended shots to the head before being knocked down.

Ironically, that came just seconds after Usyk was taunted for his lack of power - see below.

Let that be a lesson to Bellew: Do not underestimate Usyk's KO ability.

Bellew heads into the fight with an identical knockout record to Bruwer at the same stage and will hope to avoid a similar fate, having weighed in at around a pound heavier than Usyk. 

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Topics:
Cruiserweight
Oleksandr Usyk
Tony Bellew
Boxing

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