Cruiserweight king Usyk sends Bellew crashing into retirement


City fan Usyk, who knocked out Tony Bellew at the Manchester Arena on Saturday, was invited to Sunday's Premier League match at the Etihad and met up with his heroes in the home dressing room after the game.

Both fighters hit the scale and made weight.

Speaking to iFL TV, Haye said: 'Tony fought a hell of a fight, he was sharper, the pace was higher than I've ever seen him before. Prior to the Bellew fight, Usyk traveled all the way to Russian Federation and beat Murat Gassiev in a dominant way to win the Muhammad Ali trophy and became the undisputed cruiserweight champion.

Bellew is stepping back down from the heavyweight division for what could be his final fight in the hope of fulfilling his dream of becoming world champion - Usyk holds the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF titles. And the fight stops, the wife gives me this look, as if to say, 'We are supposed to be enjoying our night out on our honeymoon.

"If I'm being honest I got exhausted for the first time in my career. As soon as he said my name, I knew [we'd fight]".

"I sparred with him years ago in Ukraine and he beat me up then", added Bellew. I wish [him] greatness. "I've been doing this for 20 years".

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He therefore retained his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles at 200lbs and may now have the heavyweight scene - and Anthony Joshua in particular - in his sights after a fine performance.

With his wife staring down Eddie Hearn heading into Saturday night's fight, Bellew knows that being out of boxing is good for his health in multiple ways.

"I have won. I sit here as a loser, heartbroken, but I have won in life". When I left school - or, rather, when I was expelled from school for hitting a kid who had disrespected a teacher - I had nothing, with nowhere to go. "He's one of the best men you will ever meet".

However, many in the boxing world are hoping he instead faces the victor of December's World Boxing Council heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in a title unification fight. "I want to relax and spend time with my family".

"I'm here now and I'm competing in a fight I never thought would be possible".