Oleksandr Usyk is getting the fight he was looking for when he made the trek up to the heavyweight division when he takes on IBF, WBA (super), and WBO champion Anthony Joshua on Sept. 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Some feel Usyk doesn't have much of a chance to dethrone the two-time unified heavyweight titlist because of his performances against Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora. However, don't count a previous Usyk opponent among the naysayers.
During Monday's episode of The DAZN Boxing Show, Tony Bellew was a guest to promote week one of Fight Camp, featuring the main event between rising welterweight contender Conor Benn and Adrian Granados. The former WBC cruiserweight titleholder praises Usyk's tremendous skill but believes that one thing is the only way the former undisputed cruiserweight champion suffers a defeat.
"Believe you me mate, he hits hard enough to send me down," Bellew said on the show. "He’s exceptional. He's the best I ever faced. He is so technically perfect. His footwork is on another level. Sometimes (you) just gotta hold your hands up and say I lost to the better guy. He is better than me. He is fantastic, phenomenally gifted in everything that he does. My only worry, which I've become friends with them and I speak to him was don't go too big. I just feel like it's going to be size that beats this man."
Not many can compete with the technical prowess Usyk possesses. Bellew thinks WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury isn't the guy to beat Usyk. While Bellew feels Usyk poses a considerable problem for Joshua, when it's all said and done, Joshua will leave London with his three title belts intact.
"No one is going to outbox this guy," Bellew states. "No one's going to be outboxing the man, leading the dance. Nobody in the whole world, not even Fury is going to lead this merry dance, purely because his feet are so good that Tyson will be a little bit lost. I think Tyson will try and bring him to them because if you chase and attack someone like Oleksandr, it’s what AJ needs to do because it's the way AJ can do it, and AJ is a good enough athlete and quick enough with the feet to get there. Fury isn't. So Fury will use his size and try to overcrowd him, get close to lean on, make it messy, make it hard.
"For someone like AJ, I believe AJ is going to be losing when he stops him. I think he'll be behind on points. I think he catches up with him about rounds eight or nine. Hopefully, it can be quicker. If he lets the gap get too big, then this boy can get away with it. Trust me, he's a threat. He’s a big, big dangerous threat. People are overlooking the fact that he's a cruiserweight. Don't think about him as a cruiserweight. Just think about his actual technical ability and what he's capable of doing in a boxing ring. This guy can make people look ridiculous."