Oleksandr Usyk is 15-0 with 11 KO’s and has been matched against a “murders row” of cruiserweights. He is one confident dude as his last six fights against Glowacki, Mchunu, Hunter, Huck, Briedis and Gassiev have all been fought in the his oppositions backyard. You don't usually see his name listed as one of the “pound for pound” top ten best but he's near the top of my list. He fights out of the southpaw stance and pumps out a volume of punches to control the action. Calling him fundamentally sound is an understatement, as he’s really a master boxer with power to boot. He has good defense with very good footwork and movement.
Tony “Bomber” Bellew will be 36 at the end of this month and in the twilight of a good career. He’s 30-2-1 with 20 KO’s and has been KO’d once himself. Started fighting at 175 but after getting “run over” and stopped by Adonis Stevenson in 2013, he reinvented himself as a cruiserweight and fought and won eight times against mediocre to good competition. His last two fights were grudge matches against David Haye at heavyweight and he won both as a big underdog. Bellew is tall (over 6’3”) with a solid jab and good head movement. He looks to counter and throws his left hand as he “swings for the fences.” But his all-out left hand leaves him vulnerable to counters and in many fights, he gets marked up under the right eye.
Bellew is well liked in the U.K. and somewhat of a “cinderella story” after moving up to heavyweight and putting a grateful end to David Haye career. I’m not sure what time the fight will take place locally, but the clock will strike midnight for cinderella in this fight. Usyk to “provide” Bellew with a boxing lesson in this one. The only question in my mind is how Usyk wins the fight. At first, I leaned to Usyk stopping Bellew within 10 rounds. But in his last six fights, Usyk has only stopped two fighters and both late stops. It all depends on Bellew, does he continue to fight if he’s hopelessly behind later in the fight? Does his corner throw in the towel after a sustained beating? You can pick up Usyk by decision at +160 or by KO at -160. Not confident in either of those proposition picks. Take Usyk to win but wait to bet until close to fight time as I believe the odds will come in as “players” take a shot at the underdog Bellew.