Tony Bellew has retired from boxing after his 8th round stoppage defeat to Ukrainian fighter Oleksandr Usyk at the Manchester Area. Bellew made it hard work for the Ukrainian favourite in the first few rounds but the undisputed cruiserweight champion soon took control of the fight.
In the press conference following the loss Bellew conceded that he has lost to “potentially the greatest cruiserweight that’s ever lived.”
Usyk retained his four-belt division monopoly with the victory.
Bellew started his career in the light-heavyweight division, but it wasn’t until he entered the ring as a cruiserweight fighter that his career really took off, winning and retaining both the WBO International and WBC cruiserweight titles.
The Liverpudlian is known for his two heavyweight sell out fights against David Haye. The two TKO victories for Bellew also racked up an impressive combined 1,665,000 pay-per-views, explaining why he could say he had “won in life” in the post-fight interview.
The fight that took place on Saturday night was Bellew’s final blow-out and return to the cruiserweight division, but the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, The Ring, and lineal cruiserweight titles ended the night belonging to Usyk.
Bellew’s career has not only been confined to the ring. His role as ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan in 2015’s hit film Creed saw his fame reach a much wider level.
After growing into an impressive career that ended with a record 30-1-3, Bellew stated his intentions for a quiet retirement in his final interview as a professional boxer: “Now I just want to be normal, so please leave me alone.” Perhaps this will be the last we see of Tony Bellew in the public eye.