Last Updated: 14/09/18 5:06pm
Tony Bellew will challenge Oleksandr Usyk for all the world cruiserweight titles at Manchester Arena on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The Merseysider is stepping down a division following his heavyweight victories over David Haye after receiving a challenge from Usyk, the winner of the World Boxing Super Series final in July.
Bellew previously held the WBC cruiserweight title following a 2016 knockout win over Ilunga Makubu and intends to pull off one more famous upset win to become the division’s undisputed champion.
“This is the ultimate test for me,” said Bellew. “There is no greater test than Oleksandr Usyk, he is one of the most feared men in boxing. This is nothing new to me, everyone says that I can’t do it again. Everybody is saying that I’ll get beat-up quickly, but we’ll find out won’t we.
“Make no mistake, I know this is the most dangerous fight of my life, but I’m also going into this with my eyes wide open, I’m not in awe of Oleksandr Usyk. I won’t stand and admire him and allow him to rattle off five-punch combinations on my head.
On November 10, I’m going to do something that nobody has ever done before, I’m going to knock out an undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world.
“He’s meeting someone now who’s just as quick as him, someone that’s competed at a division lighter than him and someone that’s come across fighters much more powerful than him.
“I’m going into this fight with absolutely nothing to lose because the whole world thinks I’m going to get smashed. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. On November 10, I’m going to do something that nobody has ever done before, I’m going to knock out an undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world.”
A 2012 Olympic gold medallist, Usyk became the WBO champion in just his 10th fight, adding the WBC belt with a points win over Mairis Briedis in the WBSS semi-final, before collecting the IBF and WBA titles in a final points win over Murat Gassiev.
“I’ve been preparing for this fight for a long time and I’m delighted that we’ve got the venue and the date finalised. I cannot wait to fight in the UK,” said the Ukrainian pound-for-pound star.
He says he will beat me and I love his attitude, but you cannot beat-up somebody who is invisible in the ring.
“I am deep into my training camp with my team, working hard and preparing for a long fight with Tony.
“He says he will beat me and I love his attitude, but you cannot beat-up somebody who is invisible in the ring. As always I will be victorious on Nov 10.”
Usyk has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing, which includes a planned move up to heavyweight, provided that he firstly overcomes Bellew.
“It’s an absolute honour to promote Britain’s first ever undisputed title fight in the history of the sport,” said Eddie Hearn.
“This is one of the biggest and best fights in boxing with Tony Bellew daring to be great against one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport in Oleksandr Usyk.
The lure of becoming undisputed king, the temptation was too much.
“Tony has won British, Commonwealth, European and world titles, and after the two big wins against David Haye, we felt it might be time to walk away.
“But with him constantly improving and the lure of becoming undisputed king, the temptation was too much.
“For Oleksandr, the plan is to finish his chapter at cruiserweight on November 10 and then move up to heavyweight where he will chase a fight with unified world champion Anthony Joshua.
“This is going to be a thrilling fight on a huge night of boxing in Manchester – November 10 can’t come soon enough!”
Adam Smith, head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Tony Bellew never ceases to amaze us with his extraordinary challenges and his constant propensity to overcome the stiffest of tasks.
“After the double over David Haye, Bellew is back down at cruiserweight to try and take out one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the business – the brilliant Oleksandr Usyk.
“Having unified the division, Usyk puts all his four belts on the line in the first undisputed clash ever seen in Britain.
“We cannot wait for November 10th in Manchester. This compelling match-up is such a fabulous addition to arguably our best ever Autumn-Winter schedule.”