It’s been some time since a male undisputed world champion has defended his titles, but cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk is ready to do just that when he fights former champion Tony Bellew.
For the fourth straight time, Usyk will travel to an opponent’s home country and fight him for the cruiserweight world title. Usyk and Bellew will compete for the undisputed WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF titles on November 10 in Manchester, England.
The fight is one of the biggest cruiserweight fights of a banner year for the 200-pound division. In just the past 10 months, the sport has seen a “Fight of the Year” contender from the cruiserweights in Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos and already crowned Usyk as the first-ever World Boxing Super Series champion.
Usyk is leading a division that has been given new life after winning the World Boxing Super Series. Usyk not only boasts one of the best resumes in the sport as well as being an Olympic gold medalist, putting him in the top 10 of many boxing pundits’ pound-for-pound top 10 lists, including Fightful’s list.
The 31-year-old Usyk has aspirations of moving up in weight and challenging for Anthony Joshua’s unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles, but with Joshua’s scheduled being a little busy at the moment, Usyk might not get his heavyweight title shot for quite some time. In the meantime, Usyk will remain at cruiserweight where he will face a former champion in Bellew who never lost his cruiserweight title in the ring.
It’s been an interesting past 25 months for Bellew, whose career was changed after successfully retaining his WBC cruiserweight title against BJ Flores in 2016. Bellew got into a shouting match with former heavyweight champion David Haye, prompting Bellew to vacate the belt and move up to heavyweight. Bellew and Haye had two grudge matches in 2017 and 2018 and Bellew emerged victorious on both occasions.
Now that Bellew wrapped his rivalry against Haye, he’s ready to wrap up his career back at 200 pounds. Bellew has insisted for weeks that with his age and the in-ring abilities of Usyk, this will be his last boxing fight. Not only is history on the line for Bellew, but his legacy and career could forever change depending on the fight.
The full card will be shown stateside on the DAZN streaming service and here is the current lineup for the November 10 event:
- Oleksandr Usyk (c) vs. Tony Bellew: Undisputed WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF Cruiserweight Championship
- Anthony Crolla vs. Daud Yordan: WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator
- Ricky Burns vs. Scott Cardle
- Josh Kelly vs. Walter Fabian Castillo
- David Allen vs. Ariel Esteban Bracamonte
- Sam Hyde vs. Richard Riakporhe: Vacant WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight Title
- Dmytro Mytrofanov vs. Gino Kanters
- Alexander Kartozia vs. TBA
Tale of the Tape:
Record: 15-0 (11 KO)
Titles Won: WBA “Regular” Cruiserweight, WBA “Super” Cruiserweight, WBO Cruiserweight, WBC Cruiserweight, IBF Cruiserweight, Ring Magazine Cruiserweight World Titles
Notable Fights: Murat Gassiev, Mairis Briedis, Marco Huck, Krzysztof Glowacki
Record: 30-2-1 (20 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Cruiserweight World Title
Notable Fights: David Haye, BJ Flores, Mateusz Masternak, Nathan Cleverly, Isaac Chilemba, Adonis Stevenson
Betting Odds (Provided by PaddyPower.com):
Oleksandr Usyk Win: 1/6 (Betting Favorite)
Tony Bellew Win: 4/1 (Betting Underdog)
Fight Ends In A Draw: 33/1