Hearn optimistic about Usyk vs. Bellew negotiations
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn says he had a good meeting with the promoter for cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk this week about a fight between him and Tony Bellew. Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) holds the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO cruiserweight titles after beating IBF/WBA champion Murat Gassiev last June in the World Boxing Super Series final.
Bellew, 35, wants to grab a bit of glory by beating Usyk to capture his four world titles and then retire on top of the sport.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn is meeting with Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions in Paris, France in working on putting together the Bellew-Usyk fight for later this year.
“I had a very positive meeting in Paris yesterday and again today with Alexander Krassyuk from K2,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “It’s not done, but we made some good progress and will continue those discussions over the next few days,” Hearn said. ”Both fighters want the fight and I’m hopeful we can get it done.”
Usyk-Bellew is a fight that can be made as long as Hearn doesn’t start with the lopsided flat fee offers. Usyk likely will want a percentage deal, so if Hearn gives him a flat fee offer like he did WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder for a fight against Anthony Joshua, he could be out of luck.
Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) has some momentum going with his career in winning his last 10 fights, including two consecutive fights against David Haye. However, Bellew hasn’t beaten a true talent at any point in his 11-year pro career. Bellew’s best wins have come against old timers like Haye, and flawed fighters like Nathan Cleverly, BJ Flores, Isaac Chilemba [controversial win], Edison Miranda, Ovill McKenzie, Roberto Bolonti and Ilunga Makabu. Taking a huge step up from those fighters to a talent like Usyk is going to be a monumental leap for Bellew, and many boxing fans think it’s going to end in failure for ‘The Bomber.’ The smart thing for Bellew to do would be for him to take a fight against the fighter he swerved in Mairis Briedis, but he’d likely lose to him and then be out of luck for his fight against Usyk. As such, Bellew is going into the fight with Usyk having had very little experience against talented opposition. The only true talented fighter Bellew has faced during his career is his match against Adonis Stevenson in 2013, and he was blown out in 6 rounds by him.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk doesn’t have to face Bellew, as he plans on moving up to heavyweight to go after a big money title shot against World Boxing Organization champion. The WBO has already has already voted to make Usyk Joshua’s mandatory challenger once he officially moves up to heavyweight. The Bellew fight, which will take place at cruiserweight, is slowing down Usyk’s progress to a title shot against Joshua and all the glory that comes with that fight if/when he beats him.