Boxing

Boxing fans expressed concern for Bellew's welfare .

Eddie Hearn addresses concerns about Tony Bellew's interview after Usyk KO

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There was to be no fairytale ending to Tony Bellew's career as he suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

From the moment the Ukrainian's combo sent him hurtling to the canvas, the most pressing matter was the Bomber's welfare.

The 35-year-old was incredibly gracious in defeat, describing the four-belt cruiserweight champion as a "great fighter" who had beaten him "fair and square".

Yet, the longer his post-fight interview went on, the more alarming it became.

The Evertonian repeated himself several times and did not even seem to know which round he'd been knocked out in.

In short, he was quite obviously still concussed.

For his own sake, it would have been best to take him straight back to the dressing room where he could recover and many boxing fans felt that would have been the best course of action.

On Wednesday, when Eddie Hearn appeared in the Sky Sports News studio, the presenting team asked how Bellew had been after the fight, expressing the same concerns about the interview.

Hearn addresses concerns over Bellew's wellbeing 

"I do think he was slightly concussed," Hearn responded.

"As always, the doctors will look at the fighter before they take part in any interview. We made sure of that, I put him down on his stool.

"The doctor spoke to him, he cleared him, looked into his eyes, gave him some small tests.

"To be honest with you, there was no way Tony wasn't giving an interview after that fight, especially being his last fight.

"He said to the doctor 'get out my way, I'm absolutely fine', etc.

"But probably in hindsight, we should have finished the interview a little bit sooner but he was very keen to speak to the people in the arena who had supported him and to also give credit and respect to Oleksandr Usyk, who is a great champion."

It's certainly reassuring to know that all the appropriate checks were made first.

While Bellew will now bow out of the sport, attention turns to Usyk's next move.

The IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC title-holder has hinted he may reverse Bellew's path and venture into the heavyweight division.

Usyk remains unbeaten after knocking out Bellew

With Usyk now under the Matchroom banner, Hearn was able to give further insight into who the 31-year-old wants to fight next.

"He looks at all of those guys, Dillian Whyte, [Dereck] Chisora, Jarrell Miller, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker, all the guys that we work with.

"That's the kind of level that he wants to dive straight in at heavyweight. I think he knows he needs one, probably two, before he gets in the ring with [Anthony] Joshua." 

Do you think Bellew should have done the interview? Have your say in the comments. 

Topics:
Oleksandr Usyk
Eddie Hearn
Tony Bellew
Boxing

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