Facing Greatness: Tony Bellew is not the first who dared to be great…
Last Updated: 09/11/18 3:38pm
With Tony Bellew looking to make history by beating Oleksandr Usyk for undisputed supremacy, we ask former British fighters to reveal all about taking on the best.
Bellew takes on Usyk at the Manchester Arena this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, looking to take all four cruiserweight world titles from the pound-for-pound Ukrainian star.
Bellew’s in this fight with a punch for 36 minutes, so never give up, believe.
Carl Froch faced a similar challenge when he tackled slick unbeaten American Andre Ward in the Super Six World Boxing Classic final with the WBC, WBA, Ring and lineal super-middleweight world titles on the line…
Were you confident going into the fight?
Going into it, I was confident I was going to catch him, and in reality I couldn’t bloody hit him. He was too quick.
He was too good for me. To be honest, fighting Andre Ward was a bit of a dull affair for me. I had been to Atlantic City before when I fought Glen Johnson and I had to go back there for this fight with Ward.
How good was he inside the ring?
Fire in the eyes of Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew’s aggressive demeanour at the press conference must be repeated in the ring
My memories of Ward were that he was just too tricky, too awkward, I couldn’t get to him.
He obviously was the better boxer – and yes, he is the better boxer. I’m going to be totally honest.
Why did it go wrong?
I think I just couldn’t make it my type of fight. Andre Ward was too fast, and his tactics were dirty. I’m never going to say he’s not a dirty fighter.
He was holding on, using his head, ducking below the waist. But he did what he had to do, to get the win.
It was a horrible night and I’ve got no regrets. I lost to a guy that went through his whole career unbeaten, he was unbeaten since he was 12 and retired undefeated stopping Sergey Kovalev.
I’m happy that I went the distance with Andre Ward and I gave him his hardest fight – 115-113 on two of the judges’ scorecards, I can live with that, against a guy who didn’t want to fight.
Any advice for Bellew…
Bellew should keep his cool and stick to the game-plan. Whatever is happening early on, if you’re getting out-jabbed, if you cannot get to him, don’t forget it’s a 12-round fight.
He’s in this fight with a punch for 36 minutes, so never give up, believe. Even if you’re in the last round, look at me against Jermain Taylor, behind on all the scorecards, I stopped him with 14 seconds to go. He’s got to fight until the last second of the last round, and put the pressure on him late.
Watch Usyk vs Bellew for the undisputed cruiserweight title, at Manchester Arena, on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it online here.
Even if you aren’t a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it at skysports.com/boxofficelive.