Tony Bellew will cheer on his good friend Derek Chisora next month when the former heavyweight title challenger battles Oleksandr Usyk.
‘The Bomber’ knows Usyk all too well, having shared the ring with the Ukrainian phenom in what was his final fight back in 2018.
Usyk is thought of as one of the best technical boxers around after becoming undisputed at the lower cruiserweight limit. Bellew is fully aware that Chisora has his work cut out for him.
But speaking to Sirius XM in an interview not broadcast until September 29 but handed exclusively to World Boxing News, Bellew warned all not to count out the ‘WAR’ man.
“Of course, Derek Chisora stands a chance in this fight,” pointed out Bellew to AK and Barak. “He’s a heavyweight. As we have seen in the past, he has been written off many times and found a way through.
“Everyone had him down and out against Takam. But he just pulls it out the bag and gets rid of him in phenomenal style.
“He is definitely live and active in this fight. But he knows that he can’t afford a loss here as it would be disastrous to his career.”
Bellew continued: “Derek has things at his advantage. Usyk is an unknown quantity at heavyweight. He has not really tasted a heavyweights power yet.
“I’ve done a lot of sparring with Del over the years, and he is very, very strong on the inside. He is very heavy and extremely durable.
“If Usyk thinks he is going to get it easy in there, believe you me he is not. Chisora knows what he’s going into in Usyk.
“We all know Usyk is the best pure boxer (alongside) Lomachenko and Canelo. He is probably the best pure boxer in the sport.
“Terence Crawford probably needs a shout in there to I forgot about him, but Usyk is the real deal. He is the best I ever faced.
“His footwork is on a level above anyone in the world. I only realized how good Usyk’s feet were when I finally got in the ring with him,” concluded the Merseysider.
Chisora begins as the underdog, although that just about sums up his career. Never out of the contender picture, Chisora has the opportunity to bag a shot at Anthony Joshua in 2021.
It should be some event, and no doubt Bellew will be there ringside shouting instructions to his big pal.
Listen to the whole interview on The AK and Barak Show next week.