Usyk vs Bellew: Talking points from weigh-in as Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew unleashed physiques

Usyk vs Bellew: Talking points from weigh-in as Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew unleashed physiques

Usyk vs Bellew: Intense face-off between Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew at weigh-in

Tony Bellew must deliver one of the biggest wins ever by a British fighter if he is to humble Oleksandr Usyk, says BBC Radio 5 lives Mike Costello.

Saturdays Manchester Arena bout will present Bellew with the chance to become the first Briton to hold four world titles in a weight division.

“I think it will be one of the all-time best displays by a Briton home or abroad if Bellew wins,” said Costello.

“In Usyk, we are talking here about one of the best. If he is allowed to get into a rhythm, he does so very quickly within two or three rounds and becomes just about untouchable.”

It was the latter performance in particular that had fans waxing lyrical over his talents as he disarmed and bamboozled the big-punching Russian with ease, barely caught himself in the process, and we could witness something very similar on Saturday. Bellew is the puncher in this fight and has the power to change everything with one blow, but landing his big shots will be a very different proposition to catching Mukabu or a slowed-down Haye.

The bout – which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 live – is described by Eddie Hearn as “the best fight I have ever promoted”. Four world titles will be on the line for just the sixth time in mens boxing history.

NewsMore NewsSporting Life HomeBoxing preview: Back Tony Bellew to go the distance in likely defeatBoxingTony Bellew is likely to lose on Saturday – but we're backing him to hear the final bellChris Oliver · TipsterLast Updated14:04 · November 09, 2018 · 4 min readBoxing expert Chris Oliver is banking on Tony Bellew's ability to upset the odds as the Liverpudlian prepares to face Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.

In his own words Bellew, 35, is ready to “shock the world and then do the greatest disappearing act.”

Retirement beckons for a fighter who won three British amateur titles before earning professional belts at British, European, commonwealth and – famously at Goodison Park in 2016 – world level.

Early days spent earning supplementary income stuffing pillows in a factory or working nightclub doors created a gateway to an 11-year pro career which even took in a Hollywood film appearance as Pretty Ricky Conlan in Creed.

 3hAll Racing TipsNext Race Off19:25 Greyville1(2)DunzieJ: Craig Zackey2/17(4)MissibabaJ: Warren Kennedy9/23(3)Little Miss MeJ: A Marcus5/1Full RacecardAll RacecardsFootball TipsBack Basham to strike for BladesIt's a mouth-watering clash on Friday night with the first Steel City derby of the season. Tom Carnduff has five best bets.

After two wins at heavyweight over David Haye, his rollercoaster career faces one final challenge against an opponent he describes as “a monster”, despite insisting he will “break” Usyks “heart”.

“I just hope he comes back from it well as he will get a shock he does not see coming,” Bellew told BBC Radio 5 live.

It looked unlikely the Everton fanatic would land a world title following two failed attempts at light heavyweight, but an impressive run of form after stepping up to cruiserweight culminated in him stopping the well-fancied Ilunga Makabu on a famous night at his beloved Goodison Park in 2016.

Social media footage of 31-year-old Usyk dancing demonstrates a sleight of foot not typically associated with men in the cruiserweight division.

His obscure movement and high-pace assaults helped him claim gold at the London 2012 Olympics, catapulting him into a professional career which saw him win the inaugural World Boxing Super Series – and all four titles – in his 15th and most recent bout.

His display in the Super Series final – beating Russias Murat Gassiev in Moscow – was described as “regal” by 5 lives Steve Bunce. It also ensured the father of three became the first Ukraine fighter to become an undisputed champion in a division.

Bellews trainer Dave Coldwell said: “If you just looked at the Gassiev win youd think how on earth do you beat this guy? But there are fights and moments where he doesnt have it all his own way. Do I think my fighter can take advantage? Yes I do.”

In addition to movement, speed, Olympic pedigree and general work rate, Usyk brings another notable challenge…

Bellew admits he has in the past faced a “massive problem” in dealing with fighters – like Usyk – who sport a southpaw stance.

He says he has overcome the issue since working with trainer Coldwell but the clash of orthodox versus southpaw can historically present problems.

All the money has been for Burns this week and that could prove to be spot-on, with the popular Scotsman fancied to show his experience of competing at higher level to box his way to a 43rd career victory on points at 5/4.

“I often used to refuse to go near southpaws,” Bellew said. “Ive sparred them for 12 weeks now so I can hit them and know what they do. This guy is unlike any other fighter in the world.

“Hes a one-off, a maverick, hes formidable at what he does. I just know I am going to find a way. I even know how I am going to do it, I just cant say.”

Why is there that issue? It is very difficult to get a jab going and get into a good rhythm against a southpaw. The reason the southpaws dont have the same problem is the numbers mean they are so used to meeting plenty of orthodox fighters compared to the other way around. It took 100 years until we saw a southpaw heavyweight world champion – Michael Moorer.

We know the old adage of a kid turning up at a gym and being asked what hand he writes with. Whatever the strong hand is tends to be a fighters back hand as its then more powerful, so a right handed kid would typically be orthodox in his stance.

Ive read about the great Soviet coach Andrei Chervonenko who went to Cuba and revolutionised their boxing in the 60s. He was committed to turning fighters to southpaw regardless of their strongest hand as he felt southpaws would wreak havoc on the international scene.

From when I first started covering international events in the late 1990s, youre stunned by just how many Eastern Block fighters and the entire Cuban team are southpaws. They 100% switch guys around and make southpaws out of guys that should have been orthodox.

Former world heavyweight champion David Haye: I consider Bellew a friend. Someone who fairly beat me. Itll be better for my ego to say I got beat by a guy who beat Usyk. He can do it. If he doesnt its a points loss. Usyk on points, or Bellew by stoppage.

British heavyweight Dereck Chisora: It is just written in the stars. Tony wants this badly. He will be losing this fight but when he hits this guy he will stay hit. He will knock him out, 100%. Then Tony becomes the number one fighter in the United Kingdom.

Former British middleweight champion Matt Macklin: If Bellew wins this it is without doubt the best win of his career.

Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi: People have counted Tony out before, made him the underdog. Appreciate Usyk but appreciate the desire and determination Bellew has shown us over the years. He always gives people their moneys worth and comes to fight.

Bellew is a bookmakers underdog just as he was against David Haye twice, Nathan Cleverly twice and Adonis Stevenson.

In Usyk, we are talking here about one of the best. He claimed the World Boxing Super Series but in the semi-final, he did see a few problems against Mairis Briedis, who varied the line of attack, going to the body and head in the same attack.

It did get through. And one judge gave it a draw while the others two went 7-5 Usyk, so there is a way to get to him.

In the Super Series, Usyk was owning every second of every single fight. I doubt he lost 20 seconds of any of the fights he had.

This is a Bellew fight. If we are still working in 25 years time, when crazy fights come up we will be saying thats like a Bellew fight that is.

Usyk is the man who will fight Anthony Joshua, maybe dominate for five years. And then you start to think about it, the two words that come up in boxing come into your head, what if?

More news:

M&S knickers display wont change over feminist concern
M&S knickers display wont change over feminist concern
Meghan Markle: Everything you need to know about the duchess new favourite designer Safiyaa
Meghan Markle: Everything you need to know about the duchess new favourite designer Safiyaa
John Brennan: FAI now facing the embarrassment of hosting the Euro 2020 draw without a manager
John Brennan: FAI now facing the embarrassment of hosting the Euro 2020 draw without a manager
British academic Matthew Hedges sentenced to life in prison by UAE court for spying for UK government
British academic Matthew Hedges sentenced to life in prison by UAE court for spying for UK government
No snow in Lapland as Santa season gets underway
No snow in Lapland as Santa season gets underway
UK October government borrowing reaches three-year high
UK October government borrowing reaches three-year high
American Is Killed by Bow and Arrow on Remote Indian Island
American Is Killed by Bow and Arrow on Remote Indian Island
Brother of Man Killed in Suspicious New Jersey Fire Is Charged in Another Fire
Brother of Man Killed in Suspicious New Jersey Fire Is Charged in Another Fire
Celtic may turn down tickets for Rangers match at Ibrox
Celtic may turn down tickets for Rangers match at Ibrox
Mark Carney backs Theresa Mays Brexit deal
Mark Carney backs Theresa Mays Brexit deal
Knives out for May: Corbyn and Sturgeon JOIN FORCES in plot to derail draft Brexit deal
Knives out for May: Corbyn and Sturgeon JOIN FORCES in plot to derail draft Brexit deal
UK weather: cold snap brings icy winds, sleet and snow showers
UK weather: cold snap brings icy winds, sleet and snow showers