Oleksandr Usyk knocked out Tony Bellew in round eight of an exciting battle for cruiserweight supremacy in Manchester on Saturday night.
Here are seven takeaways we gleaned from Saturday’s card.
- 1. Tony Bellew gave a good account of himself
- 2. Sky’s commentary team had a mixed evening
- 3. The main event scorecards were poor
- 4. Eddie Hearn will always get booed
- 5. Crolla vs Yordan wasn’t world class
- 6. Cardle can’t match his amateur pedigree as a pro
- 7. Josh Kelly is more than ready for a step-up
1. Tony Bellew gave a good account of himself
I was reluctant to write off Bellew before the fight. Picking freely against the Evertonian has proven to be a mistake after his stirring displays against Ilunga Makabu and David Haye (twice).
The visitor’s start was fairly tentative. The constantly looming threat of Bellew’s right hand was almost as concerning for the champion as the realisation of it landing. Usyk has displayed a sound beard throughout his pro stint thus far. Knowing that Belew would likely fade, it was a waiting game for Oleksandr who introduced a calculated jab and body attack from the mid rounds. The strategy bore fruit as Bellew began blowing in the seventh.
When the finish arrived, it was genuinely world class. Tiring rapidly, the home fighter became more of a stationary target. The Ukrainian multi-belt holder refused to let the pace drop; left hand after left had rained in. The final left hook was perfectly disguised – spinning Bellew’s head as he fell hard into the ropes.