Oleksandr Usyk vs Tony Bellew
Undisputed cruiserweight world champion, Oleksandr Usyk, travels to the UK to defend his belts against former IBF champion, Liverpuldian, Tony Bellew. Usyk comes off a masterful landslide UD win over Russia's Murat Gassiev, Bellew comes off two victories over two-weight champion, David Haye. Usyk is a massive favourite, it seems to many like it is mission impossible for Bellew.
Bellew starts brilliantly, seems to outbox the champion for 2-3 rounds, to people's amazement, lands more clean punches, moves, defends very well, frustrating Usyk.
Bellew continues to use his skill and experience in rounds 4-6, but Usyk is able to settle down more, is the aggressor, and land a few stand out counter punches, landing the most meaningful punches in the rounds, in particular, a great left hand to the head, midway through round 4, and again in round 6, on the bell, seeming to hurt Bellew.
Having boxed a great 6 rounds, Bellew seems very tired, and Usyk seems the fresher, and more controlled of the two. In round 7, Usyk is more aggressive, has less trouble landing clean, and seems to be hunting an inactive Bellew down.
Usyk sets Bellew up with a lead right in round 8, as he has Bellew on the ropes, stationary, and he lands a brutal fight finisher, a great left hand which knocks Bellew into the ropes, very heavily. Possibly not fully concious, clearly in no position to continue, Bellew tries to stagger to his feet, but his trainer, and the referee, both stop the fight before he can get up.
Bellew is devastated, but with more fans than he had before the fight, and his sportsmanship is great, gives Usyk a lot of credit.
Usyk defends his titles, and in his post fight interview, he confirms he plans to move up to heavyweight in 2019.
Scorecards at the time of the stoppage,
The fight was close after 7 rounds, some had Bellew a long way ahead, some had Usyk a long way ahead, there were a lot of divided opinions, but it was Bellew who was ahead on the official scorecards.