Usyk vs Bellew: Unified cruiserweight success will be the ‘pinnacle’ in Tony Bellew’s career, says Dave Coldwell

By Neel Khagram

Trainer Dave Coldwell says Tony Bellew’s fight against Oleksandr Usyk for the unified cruiserweight titles is a “once in a life time” opportunity.

The ‘Bomber’ returns to 14st 4lbs following back-to-back successes against David Haye at heavyweight, as he attempts to wrestle the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine titles from the Ukrainian champion, on November 10, at the Manchester Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Coldwell guided Bellew to WBC cruiserweight title glory in 2016 after the Liverpool fighter stopped Ilunga Makabu inside three rounds at Goodison Park, but admits the chance to become undisputed king at the weight will surpass everything they have achieved in the sport to date.

"It's something that I look at as once in a life time,” Coldwell said.

“I've been working with Tony for a long time, to cap it all off in a unified cruiserweight championship fight is as big as it gets.

“It's for all the marbles, it's the pinnacle.”

Usyk, a London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, first became world champion in only his 10th professional outing after outpointing Krzysztof Glowacki two-years-ago. The southpaw added the remaining titles at 200lbs after winning the inaugural cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series; defeating Maris Bredis for WBC strap before out-boxing Murat Gassiev in the final to add the IBF and WBA titles respectively.

The 31-year-old immediately called out Bellew following his tournament success, and Coldwell claims it was a challenge which his fighter was never going to turn down.

“We watched Usyk dismantle Gassiev and I heard Usyk call Tony's name and just thought to myself 'oh, we're going again', he said. “I just knew it was going to happen again, I didn't even need to call Tony.

"He's the man everyone loves to give zero chance. Way back from domestic level to European, now he's done what he's done and he's showing his mettle, his heart, his determination.

“He's going to put it all on the line."