Oleksandr Usyk is the undisputed cruiserweight champion and the heavy favourite to see off Tony Bellew on Saturday, but the Ukrainian superstar insists he expects a stern test in Manchester regardless.
Usyk is 1.17 to come out on top and Bellew is a 5.50 shot.
Usyk, 31, is unbeaten in 15 fights so far, with 11 wins inside the distance, and he is expected to make the step up to heavyweight after Saturday’s clash.
Bellew goes into the meeting in Manchester following two wins over David Haye at heavyweight and has indicated his showdown with the cruiserweight king will be his last fight, and Usyk feels that makes the 35-year-old even more dangerous.
“I’ve been watching him ever since the middle of his career,” said Usyk, as reported by the Independent.
“I watched his fight against Adonis Stevenson because Adonis is a southpaw like me and I watched some of his recent fights to get prepared for Tony.
“Maybe the wins over David Haye were not a matter of David Haye being bad but it’s a matter of Tony Bellew [being good]. During their first fight I supported Tony 100 per cent but I wasn’t sure he would win.
And then the second fight I realised he had a very good chance of victory.
“It’s a matter of fact that he is a great fighter and really strong. It’s also a matter of fact that he will prepare properly for this fight as if it really is his last fight.”
Usyk is 1.85 to win by KO/TKO/DQ/TD or 2.60 to win on points.