Tony Bellew’s career came to an end on Saturday night as he eventually succumbed to Oleksandr Usyk in Manchester.
‘Bomber’ Bellew made a strong start to the eagerly-anticipated fight in the Manchester Arena, and was ahead on two of the three scorecards before being toppled by the undefeated Ukrainian in the eighth round.
As a result of his devastating left-hander that put Bellew on the canvas, Usyk becomes the first ever holder of the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO cruiserweight belts.
There was certainly a lot of respect between the two in the build-up to the fight and after it, with Bellew making it clear that he didn’t want to be engaged in a war of words with an opponent he has a lot of respect for.
Upon retiring straight after the fight, Bellew stated: “He’s an exceptional fighter who deserves all the awards in the world. I lost to one of the pound-for-pound best.
“I have no excuses. He is an amazing fighter.
“He is the greatest man I have ever shared a ring with. I wish [him] greatness.
“I’m a world class fighter. But that was the difference between world class and elite level.
“I tried to go for it. I tried to get him because I thought I was behind [on the scorecards].
“He’s so hard to pin down. Exceptional.
“I fought the very, very best. He’s just better than me. You come up against great people in life and sometimes you lose, and you have to accept it.
“He’s slick, he’s strong. I have nothing but respect for him.
“Anyone that faces him is in a lot of trouble. Only the very best, and the very biggest, will find a way to beat him.”
Despite being full of praise for Usyk, a video has been doing the rounds on Twitter showing Bellew being less than respectful towards his opponent, and it’s hilarious.
The Liverpudlian is shown to be walking round the ring at various points of the fight, taunting Usyk, until the 2012 Olympic champion floors ‘Bomber’ with the simplest of left hooks.
Ever the showman, but sadly on this occasion, the loser.