Tony Bellew will be hoping to end his boxing career on a high as the Liverpudlian faces off against Ukrainian Oleksander Usyk at the the Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
Bellew, 35, is set to hang up his gloves after the fight following 15 years as a professional boxer. He currently has a record of 30-2-1 and he’ll be hoping to bow out with that record standing at 31-2-1.
The Creed star revealed he would be set to retire in late August, claiming the damage he would sustain against his upcoming opponent would leave him no choice having to step away from the sport or as he put it “not the same man.”
Bellew’s clash comes after the WBC awarded the Northern-based boxer the status of Emeritus Champion prior to his second fight with David Haye – meaning Bellew could return to the Cruiserweight division and contest for the title at any time, effectively paving the way for a clash against Usyk who has since controlled the division in the Brit’s absence.
The British cruiserweight, who last fought at heavyweight against Haye, will aim to keep his 10 fight winning streak intact. The Bomber is undefeated since 2013 and is looking to regain the WBC belt that he gave up after moving up to heavyweight, as well as three new belts.
His opponent, 31 year-old Usyk, comes into the fight as the unified cruiserweight champion and is aiming to defend his four world title belts against Bellew.
The 6ft 3′ Ukrainian, who is undefeated in 15 fights since turning professional, has earned considerable fame in the division after knocking out 11 of his 15 opponents, accumulating those four belts in the process.
The Southpaw will not only be hoping to add Bellew to the list of fighters he has knocked out, but he wants to announce himself to British audiences ahead of a potential superfight with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Coming into the fight as a clear underdog according to the bookmakers, Bellew’s task seems nearly unattainable, yet the Liverpudlian will saddle up one last time, putting it all on the line to try and leave a worthwhile legacy.
Normally Bellew’s press conferences can be wild, one only has to look at his conferences with Haye to see that, but in the buildup tohis final fight, the lifelong Everton fan has taken on a much more reflective look at his career, fight and legacy.
Despite a rumoured fight in MMA in the works for Bellew, this should be the last time the British cruiserweight steps foot in a boxing ring to compete.
Should he win , Bellew will bow out with four belts and as the cruiserweight king.
Should he lose, The Bomber will bow out from the sport after 10 great years and 33 great fights. He has nothing to lose, everything to gain.