Tony Bellew sure ‘underdog’ can see off Oleksandr Usyk on November 10

Oleksandr Usyk (left) and Tony Bellew during the press conference in Manchester
Oleksandr Usyk (left) and Tony Bellew during the press conference in Manchester

Self-proclaimed underdog Tony Bellew has no doubt next month’s clash with undisputed world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk “should” be his last fight before retirement.

Bellew, 35, will attempt to take the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles off unbeaten Ukrainian Usyk when they meet at Manchester Arena on November 10.

While the Liverpudlian is convinced he will win the bout, whether it is to be his final one is something he feels less certain about, saying: “I want to say it is.”

When asked about being labelled the underdog, Bellew, who is returning to the division in which he is a former WBC champion, told Press Association Sport: “I’m the underdog in life.

“I was never supposed to win the things I’ve won, I was never supposed to do the things I’ve done, and I was never supposed to earn the amount I’ve earned.

“I’ve won in life. I’ve clocked the game. I’m a winner. I only have to go home to understand how much I’ve won in life, by what I have in the four walls at home.

“I’ve created a lifestyle for myself (so) that, no matter what happens from now on, I’ve won - I really feel like that and I’m very, very happy.

“But I’m the only fool who would really put that all at risk once again.”

Father-of-three Bellew added: “I married the girl of my dreams (his long-term partner Rachael) in July. She wasn’t happy about this (fight).

“It might just be it (his last fight). It should be and I want to say it is. But it is going to be very tempting when I have all four belts...

“Saying that, I think it is, because when I have all four belts, I don’t think anybody could ever label me the underdog again, and I think when you can’t be labelled the underdog any more, it’s time to walk away.

“But there’s a lot of action to take place between now and then. So we’ll just see how it goes. Let me get there first and see what happens.”

Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) last fought in the cruiserweight division in October 2016 and since then has triumphed in two heavyweight contests against compatriot David Haye.

With regard to his next opponent, he has described Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) as “a fantastic fighter” who is “brilliant at what he does”, with “the best feet of any cruiserweight ever”.

And when asked why he believed he could beat the 31-year-old, Bellew said: “I bring the punch.

“I bring the punch and I bring the paper. He wants one of them and doesn’t want the other.”