Boxing: Tony Bellew and Oleksandr Usyk nearing deal


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Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew are in the final stages of agreeing a deal, according to both fighters’ promoters.

The Ukrainian was quick to call out Bellew after he beat Russia’s Murat Gassiev courtesy of a unanimous decision in July.

Usyk’s victory over Gassiev in Moscow sealed his place in history as he became the first ever fighter to hold all four titles in the cruiserweight division.

Bellew recently made the step up to heavyweight to face fellow Brit David Haye in double-header, winning both bouts, and he was considering retirement.

However, the Liverpudlian admits the opportunity to become the undisputed cruiserweight champion is enough to tempt him back into the ring.

Reports claim the duo will go toe-to-toe on November 10 in either London or Manchester and Bellew’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, insists they are close to agreeing terms.

Hearn said: “Ever since Usyk called him out after the Series, Tony’s had it in his head that he’s fighting him.

“And it’s the only fight that he will come back for. It’s Usyk or retire. That’s what it will be now. It’s only really the Usyk fight that gives him the buzz.”

Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk echoed Hearn’s comments: “We are very close to finalising the deal and announcing the fight. Most likely it will take place on November 10 in the UK.”

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