Usyk vs Bellew

Usyk vs Bellew: Tony Bellew vs Oleksandr Usyk fights at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night. The Ukranian is currently undefeated but victory for Bellew would make the Liverpudlian the undisputed cruiserweight champion.

This coming Saturday, Tony Bellew is looking to become the undisputed cruiserweight champion. The fight is for the undisputed cruiserweight title and could be Bellew’s last fight as the 35-year-old believes the time is right to call it a day.

For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandyr Usyk’s historic title defense on Saturday, it might be easy for the underdog story of his popular opponent to get lost in the mix.

Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs), who became the first cruiserweight to unify all four recognized titles when he won the World Boxing Super Series tournament in July, will headline the first undisputed title defense in United Kingdom history when he faces Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) at Manchester Arena (DAZN, 1 p.m. ET).

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine has rapidly become one of the pound-for-pound best in the sport. Usyk not only enters Saturday as a large betting favorite, he has already shared plans to move up to heavyweight with a victory and begin his pursuit of Anthony Joshua, the undisputed title and retirement — all in that order.

But for everything Usyk brings to the fight in terms of unmatched skill, there’s little doubt that it’s the will of the 35-year-old Bellew, a Liverpool native, that will attract the majority of fans thanks to blue-collar persona and the blood, swear and tears he puts into every fight.

Bellew’s meteoric rise over the past five years since his knockout loss to light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson has been as surprising as it has been fun. After overcoming the devastating emotional toll of the defeat, Bellew has embarked on a 10-fight win streak in which he has won a cruiserweight title, avenged an early defeat against Nathan Cleverly and picked up two knockout victories over former heavyweight titleholder David Haye.