I just hoped for drama, really, as I looked at the WBSS cruiser clash between cagey vet Tony Bellew and pound for pound riser Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday in Manchester, England.
Let’s just have Bellew compete for some rounds, surprise to the upside, pleeeeeeze…and that is what happened, as he looked sharp and the Ukrainian didn’t in the first half of their tango. And then Usyk made certain that we’d not get into the home stretch, because he decided to stop cruising and start using the accelerator. Once Usyk got his head and heart and body in sync, and chose to throw his A plus grade stuff at Tony, Bellew had no shot.
One brave NYFer bucked the trend, and offered us a not to be sneered at nomination for Who Won the Weekend…but apart from that, Usyk gets all the love, from me and everyone but Abe.
“This was clearly the weekend of Oleksander Usyk, one of the best three fighters in the world, in what has clearly been his year,” said John Gatling. “Tony Bellew presented the best version of himself that I’ve ever seen, buoyed on by a building full of partisan Brits enamored with his swan song– and it didn’t matter. Showing the dimension of an all-time great, the unquestioned FOTY even managed to put himself in the KO of the year discussion; he damn near decapitated Bellew, only to shortly thereafter help him hold his head up with pride. What an amazing performance.”
Colin Morrison seconds that motion. “It has to be Oleksandr Usyk. The cruiserweight king won his third road fight of the year as he knocked out Tony Bellew in the eighth round of their clash in Manchester. The win will probably cement fighter of the year honours for Usyk. Now all the chatter is when, rather than if, the undisputed 200lb champion will move up to heavyweight.”
Kelsey McCarson continued the admiration trend. “Oleksandr Usyk won the weekend by stopping former titleholder Tony Bellew in round 8 in Manchester. Usyk became the first cruiserweight ever to defend the undisputed lineal cruiserweight championship. He’s truly an elite fighter and special talent. I can’t wait to see him move up to heavyweight.”
David Phillips didn’t deviate from the rest of the crew…”Oleksandr Usyk continues to class up the most overlooked division in the history of the sport. Tony Bellew gave a good account of himself for much of the fight, but Usyk separated Bellew from his marbles in the 8th just as Bellew did Adonis Creed on film. Only that was just a movie. Adonis was able to continue. Bellew was not.”
But Abe Gonzalez zagged; he deserves it—the Marine celebrated on Sunday the 243rd birthday of the Corps. “I’m going to go in a different direction as the anticipated popular vote of Usyk. The Jesus Soto Karass vs Neeco Macias fight won the weekend.
These two fighters threw 3,353 punches between them which resulted in an all out slug fest. Two things that stand out: Soto is 36 years old and it was only a 10 round fight. Let that sink in for a minute. What a impressive accomplishment and oh by the way, the fight was very competitive and entertaining.”