Tony Bellew casts early prediction on Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew - Cruiserweight World Title Fight

Despite suffering a brutal eighth-round knockout defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last night, Tony Bellew has cast doubts on the Ukranian’s ability to compete at the very top level of the heavyweight division.

Bellew, who has fought at both heavyweight and cruiserweight, put in an honourable performance at the Manchester Arena and was ahead on the scorecards heading into the second half of the fight.

But in the end, Usyk's class shone through and the 31-year-old once again proved exactly why he is so highly thought of.

Although Usyk will need a bit of time to adjust to fighting at heavyweight, his promoter Alex Krassyukwas was optimistic of a future meeting with current world champion Anthony Joshua.

Nevertheless, Bellew feels the size difference will ultimately prove too much for the smaller Usyk.

When asked who would win Bellew told iFL TV: "I think the big man is just too strong.

"He will give him problems for five or six rounds but the big man will come through.

"You've got to understand AJ is a machine, a big man who is gonna keep coming and I don't think he's [Usyk] going to be able to deter him.

"He does have pop. He can pop enough to earn respect but let's be honest I'm a cruiserweight. 

"I think he'd beat Wilder, just purely down to boxing on the feet. Wilder cops anyone they are going down. He's possibly pound-for-pound one of the biggest punchers in world boxing.

"I just hope he gets beat by Fury."

Having recently joined forces with Eddie Hearn, it will be the Matchroom boss' job to plot the right path for Usyk and he feels that Bellew's conqueror should get used to fighting in the weight division before going after the likes of his star man Joshua.

“I would like him to come to Whyte vs Chisora. There is Parker, Takam, Miller, Povetkin," Hearn said "But he will tell me the kind of fights that he wants. And if he comes back to Britain it has to be a British heavyweight. But I am sure he will want a fight to progress and then challenge for the world heavyweight title.”

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