Oleksandr Usyk stops Tony Bellew – RESULTS
By Jeff Aranow: Unbeaten IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksander Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) took a while to get his engine started, but once he did he took apart former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew (30-3-1, 20 KO) in stopping him in the 8th round on Saturday night in their fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:00 of round 8.
Usyk, 31, dropped Bellew with a big left hand to the head in the 8th that put him flat on his back. Referee Terry O’Connor than stopped the fight once it was clear that the 35-year-old Bellew was too hurt to continue. At the time of the stoppage, Bellew was ahead on two of the three scorecards. Boxing News 24 had Bellew head as well. Usyk wasn’t doing anything in the fight until the 6th. At that point, Bellew seemed to gas out, and this enabled Usyk to take over the fight
Usyk fought like he was afraid to get countered by Bellew in the first five rounds. Bellew was able to win most of the first five rounds by landing the harder, cleaner landing shots. Even though Usyk was landing more shots in the first five rounds, he wasn’t landing enough of them and Bellew was able to get the better of him with his power shots.
For Usyk to do well at heavyweight against the likes of IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua, he’s going to need to be a lot busier, and willing to sit down on his shots and not be afraid to get hit. Tonight, Usyk looked afraid to get hit, and he’s not going to go far in the heavyweight division if he fights like that.
“Thank you Tony, thank you Manchester,” Usyk said to Sky Sports after his win over Bellew. “The good champions, they become with good opponents. You know what, I had the most difficult year of my life. I now just want to relax with my family. We are just common human beings, we need to put goals in front of us.”
Matchrooom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was quiet about who he want to match Usyk against after he moves up to heavyweight. It’s likely that Hearn will look to match Usyk against his own Matchroom fighters as he moves up in weight. We can expect Usyk to see action against the likes of Dillian Whyte and Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller before he challenges for a world title against Joshua in the near future. The World Boxing Organization is expected to rank Usyk #1 with their organization at heavyweight almost immediately.