Bellew Set To Retire After Usyk Title Fight Barrier Proves Too High

Nov 11 - by AFP for sportpesa news

Ukrainian champion defended his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO cruiserweight titles with an eighth round knockout of British star in Manchester on Sunday morning

Tony Bellew (left) and Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk during their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO cruiserweight title bout in Manchester on Saturday, November 11, 2018. PHOTO/AFP

  • Roared on by passionate home crowd, Bellew started brightly to take the first three rounds against Usyk, who has never lost a professional fight
  • Usyk, described, as the "perfect boxer" by British heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, is the first man to unify all four major world championships at cruiserweight

LONDON, England- Tony Bellew vowed to retire from boxing after Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk defended his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO cruiserweight titles with an eighth-round knockout of the Brit in Manchester on Sunday morning.

Roared on by a passionate home crowd, Bellew started brightly and was ahead on two of the three judges scorecards when the fight was stopped.

But Usyk, who has never lost a professional fight, was the man getting stronger as the bout wore on and delivered the knockout blow with a left hand to leave Bellow floored.

"I walk away. I've been doing this for 20 years after 20 years it's over," said Bellew, 35, who won the WBC cruiserweight title in 2016 at Goodison Park, home of his beloved Everton football club.

"I gave it everything I had, he's an exceptional champion. He's everything I feared. He's a great fighter, the best I've ever fought."

Usyk, described, as the "perfect boxer" by British heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua, is the first man to unify all four major world championships at cruiserweight.

"I sparred with him years ago in Ukraine and he beat me up then," added Bellew.

"I haven't learned my lesson, he's exceptional. I tried my best but it wasn't good enough."

Usyk, who also won an Olympic gold medal at London 2012, takes his professional record to 16-0.