By Allan Cerf
A day after Oleksandr Usyk kayoed Tony Bellew, virtually every member of the press had it wrong. Forget biased judges, refs, corner men and promoters. We expect bias from those dudes. And throw out DAZN’s commentators who – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – talk far too much- though we love us some DAZN.
I heard David Haye, a pretty intelligent guy, and retired heavyweight champion, say after the fight concluded – that Bellew was dominating until he got caught. Perhaps Haye did this because he had picked Bellew to win? Those funky Englishmen.
In the past, I myself thought Usyk’s movement as merely very clever and awkward – by design. But it’s revealed as far, far more than that. It’s freaking brilliant. It’s no surprise that Usyk is the stablemate of Vasyl Lomachenko. Heck, Loma’s dad was in his corner when he won Olympic gold in 2012. Usyk hired the senior Lomachenko as his head trainer last year.
Usyk, as usual, was doing his thing with angles last Saturday night- particularly in the eighth and final round when Bellew was in the corner.
Let’s take a closer look at the fight and a mad, funny, brilliant character and student of history with a thing for Charles De Gaulle. (yep, I’m not kidding)
Truth and Fiction:
Bellew’s stating he only had a puncher’s chance and then coming out as a pure boxer fooled Alexander. Nope, Usyk saw it from the first round on. Please note: Bellew was also likely playing head games with Usyk.
Usyk, brilliant as he was, took a lot of shots. BULL CRAP. Bellew landed just 61 punches! Usyk was barely touched the entire fight.
Bellew took away Usyk’s jab. Here’s what Compubox reveals: “Usyk averaged 55.2 punches per round to Bellew’s 35 and his jabbing was, as usual, superlative (37.3 attempts/8.5 connects per round to Bellew’s 16/1.8.” Bellew won the first and fourth.
The only meaningful punch of the first round was Usyk’s single power jab and watch the fourth with no sound. Now – WHO won? Usyk.
Bellew has a one punch eraser. Love the guy, he’s a fine man. But nope – no eraser and never has had.
The party line for this fight was that Bellew was out-boxing Usyk and it simply isn’t so. The Ukrainian saw exactly what Bellew was trying to sell: box,stalk and win. But Usyk’s boxing brain said, “Let us wait until this charade exhausts him.” Which it did.
All props to both guys, first to Usyk, for truly rising to and even exceeding his hype – if that’s possible. A brilliant man and a brilliant fighter. And to Bellew, a smart and gutsy guy who as he says “dared to win.” He came up short.
How many of us in whatever occupation – have even tried?