Tony Bellew is determined to “find a way” to defeat Oleksandr Usyk on November 10 in what is set to be his final fight before retiring. The 35-year-old Merseysider is to drop back down to cruiserweight from heavyweight to fight Usyk for his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO world titles in Manchester.
Bellew is well aware that Usyk is likely to be his toughest opponent as the 31-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medal winner is undefeated since turning professional in 2013, while 11 of his 15 victories have come via a stoppage.
The pair share the same promoter in Eddie Hearn and Bellew is aware that the Ukrainian is already looking beyond him as he plans to step up to the heavyweight division, but the former WBC cruiserweight champion has warned him to expect his sternest test.
“For the first time in his whole career he sees a man looking back at him who believes he can win and not a man who believes he is going to lose,” Bellew told Sky Sports.
“As great as those other fighters are that he has faced and beaten, not one of them goes in there with the heart and the belief that they are going to beat him.
“That changes on November 10. I don’t just think or believe I am going to find a way. I know because I always do.
“And let’s not forget, I have the one thing that he does not have and that is a punch that can switch lights off within the blink of an eye.
“Just one wrong step, one wrong manoeuvre and it is over.”
On his future beyond Usyk, Bellew revealed that he will probably hang up his gloves or face the wrath of his new wife.
He added: “If I don’t stop after this [my wife] is going to divorce me and I have only been married four or five months.
“I don’t fancy getting divorced. It is not part of the plan. She is probably watching this somewhere so ‘babe, I promise this is, maybe, the last one’.”