Tony Bellew has settled on his pick between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk for the next undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
The former cruiserweight champion turned pundit was a one-time opponent of Usyk in November of 2018.
The Ukrainian won by knockout in the eighth round of the contest that would turn out to be his last before moving up to heavyweight, and Bellew’s last as a professional fighter.
Knowing fine well what he can do in the ring, Bellew is picking him to beat Tyson Fury should the pair honour their verbal agreement and fight for all four heavyweight belts. He made his prediction to iFL TV – one which he feels many will disagree with.
“Do you know what? I’m gonna say Oleksandr Usyk. Everyone will say ‘you can’t say that.’ Well I’ve just f***ing said it. I think he wins … I think he’s absolutely fantastic.”
As well as Usyk’s elite skill, Bellew puts it down to what Fury has shown recently, too.
Whilst he thinks that the Brit’s partnership with SugarHill Steward and adoption of the aggressive and stoppage-friendly ‘Kronk’ style of fighting is good, he believes that it won’t suit this fight in particular.
“I never used to. I thought Fury would be too big. But I’m not gonna lie, I think he’s the only person that’s got the style. Fury’s style has changed. He’s now an aggressive counterpuncher.
He used to be an awkward, slipping, counterpuncher fighter. But now that he’s aggressive, I think that’s what tips it towards Usyk. He’s changed his style under the Kronk.
I think it’s a brilliant move and I think he’s a lot more effective, it’s just that that style will benefit Oleksandr Usyk more. I think it’ll show on the night.”
Fury and Usyk, whilst publicly agreeing terms, still must sign the contract for the undisputed fight to happen.
It’s reported that the promoters are still working towards the April 29 date at Wembley Stadium, giving the fighters just seven weeks before they step through the ropes.