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Oleksandr Usyk 3/1 to end Anthony Joshua’s reign after knocking out Tony Bellew

Leigh Copson 11 Nov 2018
Oleksandr Usyk walks away after knocking out Tony Bellew (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Oleksandr Usyk’s dominance of the heavyweight division continued as he knocked out Tony Bellew on Saturday night, but the bookmakers do not expect him to repeat his exploits if he steps up to the heavyweight division in 2019.


Usyk cemented his status as the number one cruiserweight on the planet as he collected every major title on his way to winning the World Boxing Super Series this year, and in his first defence of all of those crowns ended in impressive fashion as he halted former champion Bellew in the eighth round.

Bellew was making the step back down to cruiserweight after twice beating former ex-heavyweight champion David Haye, and he made a fine start to the contest as he showed he was more than just a power puncher to take the first three rounds on the judges’ scorecard and made Usyk look rather ordinary for the first time in his career.

The unbeaten Ukrainian responded though and moved up through the gears to start taking control of the contest, and it was all over in the eighth when he followed up a jab with a violent left hook that sent Bellew crashing to the canvas.

Referee Terry O’Connor began to issue the 10 count as Bellew tried to get to his feet, but it quickly became apparent that there was no way back for the challenger and O’Connor wisely brought a premature end to his count and waved off the contest.

Bellew will now ride off into the sunset after a successful career, while Usyk will make the step up to heavyweight in the hopes of challenging WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua in 2019.

“With Eddie Hearn we can make some great fights,” said Usky’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk. “Usyk definitely needs to fight Anthony Joshua.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed a showdown between the two men is a real possibility, suggesting the Ukrainian could challenge the heavyweight champion in his second Wembley Stadium fight of 2019, but whose ‘0’ will go if the two unbeaten fighters do square off?

The bookmakers are not completely writing off Usyk’s chances of transferring his cruiserweight dominance over to the heavyweight ranks, but at 3/1 Paddy Power believes his quest to become the ‘Baddest Man On The Planet’ would end in failure.

Joshua has been installed as the 2/9 favourite, with the draw currently priced at 22/1.


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Oleksandr Usyk 3/1 to end Anthony Joshua’s reign after knocking out Tony Bellew

Oleksandr Usyk’s dominance of the heavyweight division continued as he knocked out Tony Bellew on Saturday night, but the bookmakers do not expect him to repeat his exploits if he steps up to the heavyweight division in 2019.

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