Bellew loses to undisputed champion Usyk

Bellew loses to undisputed champion Usyk

That adds up to make him a real problem for Bellew, who has struggled previously against southpaw fighters such as Adonis Stevenson - the last man to beat the Briton.

"But becoming the heavyweight champion is not what I'm dreaming of, it's my goal, it's what I'm planning to do", he said.

A fearless Bellew tried to get back to his feet as promoter Eddie Hearn watched on worryingly, but the fight was over and Usyk celebrated his stunning victory before taking the time out to check on Bellew's well-being. Bellew was knocked out in round eight and, despite admitting he was heartbroken after the fight, he spoke with pride as well as great admiration for the man who had floored him.

"I tried to go for it because I thought I was behind", Bellew said. The unbeaten Miller is from Brooklyn so any bout would likely take place at Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center. You've just got to accept it. 'Oleksandr Usyk is pound-for-pound material. [His management] will tell me what they want to do.

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Bellew has himself admitted that such opponents cause him issues. Anyone who fights him is in trouble.

However, many in the boxing world are hoping he instead faces the victor of December's World Boxing Council heavyweight title fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in a title unification fight. Prior to the Bellew fight, Usyk traveled all the way to Russian Federation and beat Murat Gassiev in a dominant way to win the Muhammad Ali trophy and became the undisputed cruiserweight champion. "A great man, a great fighter". 'Eddie Hearn stuck by me all the way.

"I just never expected Bellew to be in a fight as high level as that, as skilful as that, as elite as that". 'I looked between his eyes.' When asked what he saw, Usyk replied: 'What do you think? 'It's heart-breaking because I gave this everything I possibly had but it didn't work out. You are a great, great champion.' Bellew had insisted in the build-up that this would be his final fight as a professional boxer.

This was a fitting end to a career that began just over 11 years ago at Nottingham Arena, on a night when Amir Khan was the main attraction.

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