Ex-world champ and Oleksandr Usyk's former ring rival, Britain's Tony Bellew, spills the beans on what it's like trading punches with the Ukrainian top fighter:
"Man, it was a whole different league. Sure, he's phenomenal. I've duked it out with stronger, quicker guys, but Usyk? He's an absolute different beast. It's like he's got this sixth sense, reading your every move.
He's like a supercomputer, scanning and storing every trick you've got. Usually, it's a three-round download for him, but with me, it took a solid eight. Once he's got you figured out, bam! He goes for the kill. I was totally gassed out. I remember slugging it out till round seven, but round eight? Total blackout.
I somehow managed to get up at the count of six. Usyk didn't floor me for good... I rose at six, thanking my lucky stars; the ref waved it off. If he hadn't, Usyk would've definitely sent me to the great boxing ring in the sky. That ref didn't just stop the fight; he saved my life. One more hit from Usyk, and I'd have been toast.
So, yeah, top-tier boxing is no joke – it's savage. My main game plan? Make it home in one piece. Winning was just the cherry on top," Bellew recounts.
The two top warriors clashed in November 2018, with Usyk scoring a knockout victory in the 8th round. Up next for Usyk is a showdown with Tyson Fury on February 17, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.