Oleksandr Usyk to face Tony Bellew as he gambles undisputed status

Oleksandr Usyk won the Muhammad Ali trophy as he beat Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final. Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Undisputed cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk will put all four of the main cruiserweight titles on the line when he takes on Tony Bellew at Manchester Arena on Nov. 10 in what will be the first four-belt unification fight to take place in the UK.

Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) comprehensively defeated Murat Gassiev on points in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in July to become the undisputed champion of the cruiserweight division, holding the WBC, IBF, WBA and the WBO titles as well as the Ring Magazine belt. Immediately after that contest, Usyk called out Bellew as he targeted a move up to the heavyweight division.

Bellew is a former cruiserweight titlist himself, winning the WBC strap in a 2016 knockout victory over Ilunga Majubu. After defending against BJ Flores, Bellew vacated to move up to the heavyweight division to take on rival David Haye, upsetting the former heavyweight champion on two separate occasions -- most recently with a fifth-round knockout win in London back in May -- to force the 'Hayemaker' into retirement.

He will drop back down to his natural cruiserweight division to take on Usyk and will once again come into a fight as a heavy underdog, but the opportunity to become the undisputed champion of the world is a prospect that Bellew will relish.

"This is the ultimate test for me," said Bellew. "There is no greater test than Oleksandr Usyk, he is one of the most feared men in boxing. This is nothing new to me, everyone says that I can't do it again. Everyone is saying that I'll get beat-up quickly, but we'll find out won't we.

"Make no mistake, I know this is the most dangerous fight of my life but I'm also going into this with my eyes wide open, I'm not in awe of Usyk. I won't stand and admire him and allow him to rattle off five-punch combinations on my head.

"He's meeting someone who's just as quick as him, someone that's competed at a division lighter than him and someone that's come across fighters much more powerful than him.

"I'm going into this fight with absolutely nothing to lose because the whole World thinks I'm going to get smashed. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. On Nov. 10 I'm going to do something that nobody has ever done before, I'm going to knockout an undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world."

Usyk recently signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable with the plan to transition to heavyweight and ultimately take on Anthony Joshua. Undefeated so far in his professional career, the Ukrainian does not believe that Bellew will be the man to spoil his record.

"I've been preparing for this fight for a long time and I'm delighted that we've got the venue and the date finalised -- I cannot wait to fight in the UK," said Usyk. "I am deep into my training camp with my team, working hard and preparing for a long fight with Tony. He says he will beat me and I love his attitude, but you cannot beat-up somebody who is invisible in the ring! As always, I will be victorious on Nov. 10."