Ukranian cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will put his four titles – and The Ring Magazine belt – on the line against British boxer Tony Bellew at the Manchester Arena on Saturday.
Usyk is an undefeated champ who holds every single cruiserweight belt in the world — IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC. The 31-year-old native of Simferopol started out as a talented young footballer before setting foot in amateur boxing in 2002.
— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) November 9, 2018
After his four-year neophyte career, Usyk represented Ukraine at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The world champion lost to Clemente Russo in Beijing before seizing the heavyweight gold medal in London.
It was a year later when the Southpaw entered the professional realm, initially inking a cruiserweight contract with Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions. In just his fifth pro fight, Usyk has already brought the WBO Inter-Continental interim title home.
“The Cat’s” skills are out of the question, collecting a professional record of 15-0 and losing only 15 bouts in his 350-fight amateur career. He is currently the world’s unified cruiserweight champion after his points win over Murat Gassiev in July.
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Bellew
WBC Cruiserweight Championship.
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) November 7, 2018
A Way Out
Among his 15 successful combats, Usyk destroyed his opponents via knockout on 11. In an interview with The Sun, the Ukrainian champ explained how boxing saved his life as a child growing up in a ghetto.
“How do you think I got into boxing? By having so many street fights growing up in a ghetto with drugs dealers and prostitutes… but this is boxing. I grew up having to fight and defend myself as a kid. Life was tough growing up, and boxing was a way out of that.”
It will be one of Bellew’s biggest wins if he will be able to seize the unified belts from Usyk. He’ll be the first Briton to hold four world titles in a weight division if the fight goes in his favour.
However, the cruiserweight champ is no easy opponent. BBC Radio’s Mike Costello predicts what Usyk would be once he wins the Bellew match — untouchable.
“In Usyk, we are talking here about one of the best. If he is allowed to get into a rhythm, he does so very quickly within two or three rounds and becomes just about untouchable.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Oleksandr Usyk