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Usyk vs Bellew: David Haye says Tony Bellew can beat Oleksandr Usyk with punch that toppled him

7:16 am, 9th November 2018

The former world champion will be watching with interest as Bellew challenges Usyk for all the world cruiserweight titles in Manchester on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Click here to book Usyk vs Bellew

Haye is fully aware of the Merseysider’s punch power after being floored three times in his second heavyweight defeat at The O2 in May, and believes Bellew can overcome Usyk with his trademark punch.

“Having a long-range boxing match against someone who is so technically gifted could be the wrong strategy,” said Haye, who is part of the Sky Sports Box Office team.

“Solid counter punches, get Usyk reaching, get Usyk coming towards him. I definitely feel Tony Bellew’s counter punching skills are very underrated.

“I definitely found myself on the canvas a couple of times, because maybe I underestimated his speed of counter.

“He’s [Usyk] always been very difficult and tricky to nail down. I definitely think he has the attributes to be a very awkward night for Tony, but having said all that, Tony’s left hook is the equaliser.

“If Tony can land that left hook to the head, that left hook to the body, he can really get a foothold in this fight, and turn the tide.”

Bellew’s body shape was starkly different to the muscular physique of Haye, who admits he will be stunned if the 35-year-old appears more athletic at Friday’s weigh-in.

“If he turned up shredded for the fight, I would think that something was wrong, to be honest,” said Haye.

“He needs to focus on what makes him effective. He’s got more of a smooth body shape, similar to Bernard Hopkins. Muhammad Ali was never shredded, but he goes down as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, same as George Foreman, Joe Frazier.

“None of these guys were shredded, but they were all amazing fighters. And that’s it. It’s not a bodybuilding competition, it’s a boxing match.”

Watch Usyk vs Bellew for the undisputed cruiserweight title, at Manchester Arena, on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it online here.

Even if you aren’t a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it at skysports.com/boxofficelive.