'I looked at the spot between his eyes. I am a sniper': Usyk reveals his bullet target for Bellew
Usyk, 31, will look to extend his undefeated career record to a perfect 16-0 this weekend when he faces former WBO cruiserweight champion Bellew in Manchester, England, on Saturday night.
The current WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA titleholder, who won the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) in Moscow last time out, didn’t wait long to fire a pre-fight salvo when the two fighters came face-to-face at a media engagement this week.
Asked what he saw in his opponent’s eyes during a stare-down, Usyk’s answer was chilling.
“I didn’t look in his eyes,” the Ukrainian said. “I looked at the spot between them. I am a sniper. That point is the target for my bullet. Bang.”
Despite Usyk’s relatively brief professional career to this point, the London 2012 Olympic gold medalist is already considered among the sport’s pound-for-pound elite but will likely face his greatest challenge to date in the 31-2 Bellew.
The Liverpool native, a two-time vanquisher of former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion David Haye has promised a "war" in what he says will be the final bout of his career.
Usyk, in response to Bellew’s pre-fight forecast, says that he has taken his training to a new level in advance of Saturday’s clash, living the "life of a monk" which included sleeping on a straw bed at a gym just outside of Kiev.
“I had all the comforts I need,” Usyk elaborated. “Gym with equipment, boxing gloves, bags to hit, pads to hit, men to hit.”
Bellew, meanwhile, admits that his opponent is more skillful than him but says that this won’t stop him from having his hand raised. Similar statements were made by Bellew ahead of his two-fight series with Haye - and twice he was correct.
“[He is] a brilliant, fantastic, amazing, spectacular boxer who I know is better skilled than me - even though I still believe I will end my career by taking his place as the undisputed,” he said.
“While I cannot outbox Usyk I can put his lights out in the blink of an eye at the height of a war.”
This appeared to be music to the champion’s ears.
“War? I will be doing what I always do. My boxing.”