Tony Bellew rates Oleksandr Usyk as the best he's ever faced, but doesn't believe he beats Fury or Joshua

Tony Bellew rates Oleksandr Usyk as the best he's ever faced, but doesn't believe he beats Fury or Joshua

Published On Monday, May 18, 2020By British Boxing News

Tony Bellew gives honest assessment on Oleksandr Usyk's chances as a heavyweight

Tony Bellew believes Oleksandr Usyk presents a genuine threat to the heavyweight division, but is just too small for the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

The former undisputed cruiserweight king dominated every foe in his path during his run at 200lbs, but made the decision to move up after defeating Bellew in November 2018.

During their enthralling clash at the MEN Arena in Manchester, Usyk was down on the cards of the judges, but used his in-ring craft to avoid Bellew’s power punches before sapping the Scouser’s energy and landing a clubbing left hook in the eighth.

Despite defeating every obstacle with consummate ease in the cruiserweight division, Bellew believes his former foe (and now friend) is just not big enough to challenge the likes of Fury and Joshua at the top of the heavyweight division.

“First off, he is exceptional,” Bellew told Fight Night on talkSPORT. “Best fighter I ever faced, without a shadow of a doubt.

“For sleight of hand and foot, he is just phenomenal – a really brilliant fighter – and a great fella [sic] as well, by the way.

“Secondly, do I think he is a genuine threat to the heavyweight division? Absolutely yes, that’s the first thing.

“But do I think he can beat the big, big boys? I just don’t think he can mate. That’s the only worry – the big, big boys.

“Don’t get me wrong, Tyson Fury and AJ are just too big mate; they are too big and dangerous and they will catch up with you in the end.

“But anyone around his size and frame – trust me mate, he is a tough puzzle to solve.”

After eventually making his professional heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon in October 2019, a fight against Dereck Chisora was scheduled.

But Usyk, who is also WBO mandatory challenger to Joshua, may now face ‘War’ Chisora overseas after their May date at the O2 Arena in London was postponed.


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