Usyk Stops Bellew in 8
For 3 rounds in Manchester, Tony Bellew looked more than capable of upsetting the odds yet again, but then the class of his opponent began to tell.
The hugely impressive Oleksandr Usyk began to find his rhythm from the 4th, and the task was getting harder as each second of the fight passed for the Liverpool fighter. A left hook from Usyk in the 8th finished the fight and also the career of the brave Bellew.
Usyk, looking like a Bond villain during the pre-fight preliminaries, must have been surprised by the bright start his opponent made. Bellew showed he is a much better boxer than he his given credit for by outboxing the master boxer in the early stages of this absorbing contest.
But as Bellew started to tire, and the mistakes started to creep in, it looked inevitable that Usyk would be the one who would be having his hand raised.
Bellew was always in the fight and fought above most people’s expectations, but maybe some of his incredible self-belief started to fade in the 8th. The end might have come suddenly but it was coming, Usyk had established control and Bellew definitely had the look of a fading fighter.
At the time of the stoppage, the judges’ scorecards were 67-67, and 67-66, 68-65 in favour of Bellew.
Usyk showed what an exceptional fighter he is, and the heavyweight division needs to be extremely wary of what is coming their way.
For Bellew, despite the loss, he goes out on a high. He performed much better than the long odds thought he could, and he let nobody down on his last appearance in a boxing ring.
Bellew leaves the sport financially secure, achieved his dream of winning a world title, and he got the most out of the sport he possibly could, and he’s getting out of the sport on his terms. Bellew has nothing more to give and more importantly nothing left to prove.
Usyk improves to 16-0, Bellew ends his career with a 30-3-1 record.