By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 05/11/18 7:08am
Tony Bellew holds ‘100 per cent’ belief that he will triumph in the ‘ultimate’ fight against Oleksandr Usyk, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Bellew can become the undisputed cruiserweight champion when he challenges the unbeaten Usyk for all the division’s major titles at Manchester Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
After conquering the weight class in just 15 fights, the Ukrainian is a formidable opponent, but Bellew has retained total confidence that he will produce one of the most significant victories in British boxing history.
Asked about Bellew’s mindset, Hearn told Sky Sports: “Just 100 per cent belief that he’s going to do it. He can visualise it, he can see it, he can feel it.
“He just believes it’s going to happen, and I think that’s part of the process – the key to making it happen, is believing it.
“It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be epic. I think it goes down as the greatest win, from a British fighter, of all time.
It’s the ultimate legacy fight, the ultimate career defining fight, and that’s what is really spurring him on.
“You talk about [Lloyd] Honeyghan against [Donald] Curry, and things like that, but this is for the undisputed championship.
“It’s up there with Honeyghan-Curry, and all the great wins, but it also has everything attached to it.
“It’s the ultimate legacy fight, the ultimate career-defining fight, and that’s what is really spurring him on.”
The Merseysider has insisted he is ready to call time on his career, even if he dethrones Usyk in a sensational upset win.
There will be options for Bellew to fight on, with retired American Andre Ward previously sounding out a possible bout, but Hearn would prefer the 35-year-old to hang up his gloves.
“Andre Ward, I think, would want to fight the winner,” said Hearn. “I’ve spoken to Ward’s team about Bellew before, not recently, and same with Tony.
“What a time to retire, if he was to beat Usyk, to be able to say ‘I’m done.’ To bow out on that one.
“It’s always going to be tempting, because again, I think one of the hardest thing about retiring is when you feel like you’re improving, and he is improving at the moment. That’s the worst thing about it.
“It’s so hard to leave when you feel like you’re getting better, or not in decline, and he’s not in decline, and he won’t be in decline in this fight.
“But that, I think, is sometimes the right time – is to say that I’m not on the down slide, a bit like [Carl] Froch.
“He didn’t have to go through those fights where he got old, or he started to not look himself, and that’s actually quite nice. It would be a shame to see Bellew, after everything he’s done in the last couple of years, do that.”
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.