Oleksandre Usyk made non believers feel like ninnies when he showed Murat Gassiev about the levels within the top tier of this most dangerous game.
Based on that outing, the band of folks who think Tony Bellew has a chance to beat the ace cruiserweight from the fertile fight factory of Ukraine shrank from a select few to, like, no one outside of Team Bellew. And how many of them secretly think their guy is not in the same league as the Ukrainian with the 15-0 mark?
Me, I’m going to go with my standby take, and say that I hope Bellew over-delivers and makes a fight of it, and that we don’t see a 12 round wipeout, a display of technical wizardry with an absence of drama….
Maybe my heart is having more say than it should, but here’s hoping Bellew summons from the deep interior of his soul and he pushes Usyk and surprises him and us by taking some rounds. Maybe this is more hope than certainty…
“Although I would like this to be a war, I feel as though we will see another great performance by Usyk,” said Abe Gonzalez. “Bellew will push him to his limits but I think we see Usyk “level up” in this one. I truly admire Bellew daring to be great and he will be loved even more after this fight just for the attempt. Usyk by decision.”
“Oleksander Usyk will most likely get a clear UD, but I can see a late stopage for who'll almost certainly be the 2018 FOTY. Usyk's conditioning went to otherworldly against Murat Gassiev,” said John Gatling. “In fact, it's so special that it possibly eclipses that of Lomachenko– the best conditioned fighter in the world. Tony Bellew is a solid technical fighter who does a little bit of everything well; it's just that veteran cutman/master strategist Russ Anber can solve Bellew and Usyk will implement the plan and do just that.”
Colin Morrison likes the favorite to shine brightly. “Expect another masterclass from Usyk. He's going to show Bellew the same level of respect he showed Gassiev in the WBSS final – getting behind his jab and boxing and moving beautifully. Can he stop Bellew on accumulation of punches? Yes, but the more likely outcome is Usyk UD in the 10-2, 11-1 sphere. “
“Usyk is a big favorite on Saturday according to oddsmakers, and rightfully so,” Kelsey McCarson shared. “He's one of the very elite pound-for-pound stars in the sport, and I think he matches up nicely against Bellew. I like Usyk by unanimous decision in a fight that's pretty easy to score.”
“I like Usyk as well,” said David Phillips. “Bellew might need a movie script on par with Creed…
..to get the W. That being said, I'm often wrong about these things. Proceed with caution. Usyk TKO 11.”
My three cents: You heard that Bellew says this fight is his curtain call. Well, boxers and retirements are like humans and diets…pledges are made and then just as regularly unmade.
If he wins, ain’t no way or shape or form he’s hanging up the mitts. He’s 10-0 since losing to Adonis Stevenson and bless his heart, he’s testing himself in trying to cross this bridge that most say is too far. I will say this…a Bellew win would be a sweet pick-me-up for fight fans who like to see the underdog roar and bite and triumph now and again. I always say, stranger things have happened…like, yesterday.