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Oleksandr Usyk looking forward to “street fight” with Tony Bellew in cruiserweight title defence

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 15-0 (11) insists he has nothing to fear from a “street fight” with Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew 30-2-1 (20) after fighting his way out of the ghetto as a kid.

The 31-year-old Ukrainian southpaw, who holds the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring magazine belts at 200-pounds, will meet Bellew at the Manchester Arena in Manchester on Saturday night.

Liverpudlian Bellew, 35, questioned Usyk’s grit at the final press conference ahead of the fight.

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“I’m meeting a man with exceptional skills, talent, who has everything except one thing – the ability to turn peoples’ lights out with a blink of an eye,” said Bellew.

“He is the ultimate test, the most complete fighter I have ever met, he’s amazing at what he does, but I’m going to drag him into a street fight, break him and knock him out.

“I don’t know exactly how, but I will find a way like I always do. On Saturday night, you are going to learn how to lose in a street fight, Mr Usyk.”

The champion hit back with a little history lesson about his upbringing.

“How do you think I got into boxing?” asked Usyk. “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.

“I’m really inspired and enjoying the atmosphere here in England. I never dreamt I’d be fighting here. Bellew is really dangerous, the best opponent I have faced. We are the same height, same weight, I look at his eyes, and they are angry. I will be boxing, I love boxing, and the main thing is that we perform to our best. I believe it will be a spectacular fight.”

Bellew has said that this will be his last pro fight and he is looking to go out with a bang.

“This is the richest fight in the history of the cruiserweight division,” said Bellew. “He brings the belts, I bring the money. I could have called out Dillian Whyte, rolled around on the floor and brawled on The Gloves Are Off and sold one million pay-per-view buys.

“Don’t call me the bank robber, as they did when I fought David Haye twice. Call me the belt robber … ’cos that’s what I am going to do against Usyk on Saturday night. I will give my all, and I will find a way to prove the doubters wrong for a final time.”

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