Usyk v Bellew: Breaking down a potential cruiserweight blockbuster

Daniel Smith 14/08/2018

WBSS / Lawrence Lustig

The former WBC world cruiserweight champion, Tony Bellew (30-2-1) believes he’ll be losing on points in a brutal and punishing fight against the current, undisputed and unified world cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk (15-0-0), before inevitably chinning the Ukranian; knocking him spark-out and becoming the unified, two-time cruiserweight champion of the world. 

Following a lethal KO victory in April this year, where he deployed a swift and fierce, razor-sharp dismantling of the former two-division, Ring Magazine, Lineal and WBA world champion, David Haye, ‘The Bomber’ was considering retirement, even with the prospect of a juicy glut of opponents on the horizon, such as a clash with the returning Lineal Heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury (26-0-0), a potential revenge match with the WBC and Lineal light-heavyweight champion, Adonis Stevenson (29-1-1) and of course, a possible bout with the retired Andre Ward (32-0-0) – the unbeaten, world’s best pound for pound fighter and two weight class unified champion.

The fight with ‘S.O.G’, was, for Bellew an extremely attractive and alluring envisionment, and certainly an impressive name to carve onto his record.

However, after winning the World Boxing Super Series last month and becoming the undisputed, unified cruiserweight champion of the world, Oleksandr Usyk immediately called for Bellew.

Since then, “The Bomber” has been chomping at the bit, revving up and raring to square off against the lethal Ukranian in what could be a classic and explosive night of boxing.

Tony had even taken the reins and ordered promoter Eddie Hearn to get the fight made ASAP.

Thereafter, conversations, plans and cogs appear to have been moving nicely; with a showdown in November this year looking promising.

So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! If the bout is firmed up – who chins who? Who prevails as the victor in what is considered to be a gruelling and ripping scrap between to hard-hitting warriors?

Let’s take an analysis of the two fighters attributes.

Tony ‘The Bomber’ Bellew:

First and foremost, the former WBC cruiserweight champion of the world is a very underrated and talented boxer.

A fighter who studies the game like an academic and combines his homework with a multitude of skills. A man who thrives off being the underdog going into battle, for it makes the victory all the sweeter when he proves his doubters, disbelievers and the bookmakers wrong.

So many fighters over the years have underestimated Bellew and have absorbed a battering and career-ending punishment for their errors of judgement.

When fighting against the hardboiled Scouser’s choppy-aggressive currents, flaring temperament and ferocious attacking combinations; it’s evident he can detonate with such momentum and power, causing serious problems for his opponents – not forgetting his exceptionally hard-hitting, knockout counter-punches; which were exemplified in his second showdown and second victory against David Haye, where the ‘The Hayemaker’ was forced to miss seven times before Bellew unloaded with a torrent of beefy shots that jawed Haye to the canvas.

In addition to the Bomber’s attributes, Tony is a hard, rough, formidable and resilient individual who exuberates relentless heart, passion, grit and determination – with an iron-will mindset that refuses to “throw in the towel”.

Not only that, his experience, skill, excellent footwork, effective style, knowledge and study of the game’s opponents (past and present) will put him in good stead to utilise his efficacious and sophisticated pugilistic abilities, to aid a victory over the undisputed, unified cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk.

Oleksandr ‘The Cat’ Usyk:

At 6ft 3″ and 14 stone; the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF world, unified cruiserweight champion is a solidly formed, and extremely dangerous fighter who is yet to taste defeat. A fierce and ferocious gladiator of the squared circle, whose steely punching power and rapid-punishing combinations, obliterates opponents into crumpled heaps.

“The Cat’s” slick movement, rampart-esque defence, imposing physicality and adept boxing sophistication, produces an extremely effective and difficult style to manage, penetrate. and overcome.

Oleksandr Usyk is an exceptional talent and seriously lethal boxer who conducts his affairs in the ring with a savage and chilling menace. A man who does not lay claim to pomp or flamboyant antics – but nothing less than a serious, brutal and formidable force within his division – a fighter not many relish the prospect of tangling with.

A clash with Tony Bellew may be regarded as a “one-sided affair”; however, as proficient, skilful, fearless and powerful Usyk may be; he would need to keep his wits about him and never for one second, underestimate a seasoned professional like the “The Bomber” Bellew – for the penalties may be devastating.

So, it’s still early days as the fight has not come to fruition as yet. Although it’s safe to surmise that a potential war between these two pugilist knockout merchants would be an explosive and exhilarating event; with Tony Bellew confirming it would definitely be his last professional fight, due to the barbaric-brutality, gran-Prix paced and physically punishing nature of the contest.

This suggests that Bellew will be prepared to dig and claw and tear deeper than he has ever done so before. A fight, if he wins, will reward him the unification, cruiserweight spoils and an enriching achievement that will cement his place within the illustrious history books of the noble art.

An enticing and exhilarating prospect for both fighters, as well as for boxing fans all over the world. Here’s to hoping it gets made.

Daniel Smith is a contributor to World Boxing News. Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielS11645001