Tony Bellew has been backed to beat Oleksandr Usyk by super-middleweight world champion Callum Smith.
Bellew will meet Usyk in Manchester on Saturday, with a chance to become the undisputed champion of the world in the cruiserweight division.
The Liverpudlian is the underdog entering the clash, but a few pundits and contemporaries are giving him a chance to hand the Ukrainian the first loss of his professional career.
One such contemporary is Callum Smith. Proving the Scouse brotherhood is as strong as it ever was, the WBA title holder revealed he thought his friend Bellew could pull off an upset at the Manchester Arena.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Smith said:
He has shown time and time again he has been in fights he should never have won,
Ability-wise he wasn’t the better man and technique-wise he wasn’t the better man and I think this fight is the same.
He always seems to find a way, pulls it out of the bag, and boxing is a funny sport. The better man doesn’t always win.
The better-prepared man can win or whoever gets it right on the night and Bellew seems to have done that in the past.
It’s the biggest fight of his career and he wouldn’t have taken it if he didn’t think he could win.
Usyk can command nearly every conceivable advantage over Bellew, such as youth, record, hardware, and reach.
Bellew will be counting on his experience, the home crowd, and the spiritual power of Everton Football Club. Saturday night’s contest could prove to be gripping viewing, and just one part of the ferocious finish to boxing’s 2018.