Aleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew on Nov.10, says Hearn
By Scott Gilfoid: The working date for cruiserweight showdown between IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO champion Aleksandr Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) and Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) is November 10 in UK, according to his Tony’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
It’s a bad date for the Usyk vs. Bellew fight, because a lot of boxing fans are going to be saving their money for the much more interesting fight between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. The fans aren’t likely going to spend all their money on Usyk-Bellew fight when they’ve got the Wilder-Fury fight around the same time.
The 35-year-old former World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Bellew is going down to cruiserweight to challenge Usyk for his four titles. The WBC gave Bellew their ‘Emeritus champion’ tag after he chose not to defend his WBC cruiserweight title last year against then #1 WBC Mairis Briedis. Bellew moved up to heavyweight to face an injured David Haye, who had a bad Achilles injury.
Hearn and Bellew did a good job of selling the mismatch against the old and injured Haye to the UK boxing public on Sky Box Office pay-per-view instead of matching him against a young, healthy heavyweight like Adam Kownacki or a talented guy like Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz. There are no options at heavyweight for Bellew, because he doesn’t appear to be interested in facing a high quality heavyweight.
”November 10, we’ve got Bellew-Usyk and Jacobs-Derevyanchenko on the same night,” Hearn said to IFL TV.
Bellew facing Usyk is a fight that is the equivalent of a quarterfinals match in the World Boxing Super Series. Bellew vs. Usyk will likely be sold to the boxing fans like an ultra-WBSS level fight, but the reality is a lot different. Bellew would have a huge problem trying to make it out of the quarterfinals of the WBSS if he had elected to compete in the tournament instead of taking on the injured and old David Haye at heavyweight. Bellew would have had a likely been picked off by the likes of Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev, Yunier Dorticos or Marco Huck if he had fought in the WBSS tournament.
Bellew’s best chance of making it to the semifinals of the WBSS tournament is if he were matched against the past his best Huck. Bellew might have enough to beat a guy like Huck, as he looks pretty shot at this point. I still think it would have been an extremely difficult fight for Bellew. If Bellew had fought Dorticos, Gassiev or Briedis, I think he would have been eliminated by all three of them. Bellew’s decision to face Haye instead of sticking it out at cruiserweight and defending against Briedis is clearly a case of him taking the easy path.
Bellew is going to have to start burning off the blubber if he wants to get down to 200 pounds to make weight for the Usyk fight. Right now, Bellew is still looking flabby around the jowls. Last weekend, Bellew looked like he had a mouth full of walnuts when he was talking. He’s going to have to take that flab off if he wants to make 200 unless he’s going to be given a weight handicap by Usyk.
Bellew-Usyk shapes up to be a mismatch with the Ukrainian talent having way too much skills for the one-time paper champion Bellew, who arguably never fought anyone good when he was campaigning at cruiserweight.