Oleksandr Usyk knocks out battling Tony Bellew in eighth round

Before Usyk's Olympic gold he suffered defeats as an amateur

Before Usyk's Olympic gold he suffered defeats as an amateur

Tony Bellew exists for these cameras really.

While he's done with boxing, Bellew has not ruled out the possibility of joining the UFC. The former WBC world cruiserweight champion was prepared well enough for that type of challenge to keep their scheduled 12-round fight very competitive through seven rounds.

It was Usyk's 16th consecutive victory as a professional and could lead to him stepping up to the heavyweight classification.

Tony Bellew exited the ring for the final time last night distraught after being knocked out by Oleksandr Usyk. "That's the difference between world class and elite level". I gave it everything I got. When I was expelled in school, I had nothing, with nowhere to go. "You are a great, great champion".

"I walk away. I've been doing this for 20 years, after 20 years it's over", said Bellew, 35, who won the WBC cruiserweight title in 2016 at Goodison Park, home of his beloved Everton football club.

"Oh", Bellew said, "it's definitely the end".

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Despite the defeat, which signals his retirement, Bellew was magnanimous.

Bellew acknowledged after just the second knockout loss of his career that he was wrong. This prompted his father to shout that he was the "best son", adding: "I'm proud of you lad". Just accept it, man.

"I tried my best". He's slick, he's strong and he's exceptional.

"I thought he boxed him too clean and too long."
Bellew (30-3-1, 20 KOs) knows that the 6-feet-3 technician will be a hard foe for even huge heavyweights like the 6-feet-6, 245-pound Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs).

The Ukrainian, the first man since Evander Holyfield to unify all four major titles in the cruiserweight division, started slowly with Bellew finding success early. "He's an exceptional champion. But ultimately he got me". "Anyone who faces him is in trouble".

The Liverpool native was the epitome of humble immediately after the fight, heaping praise on his opponent and wishing him all the best.

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