Brilliant Oleksandr Usyk brings down the curtain on Tony Bellew

• Bellew stopped in eighth round by Ukrainian in his final fight
• ‘He’s a great big champion and I lost to a fine man’

If we never hear the Z-Cars theme in a British ring again, we will nevertheless have the stirring memories of the fighter who brought all the passion of his Evertonian roots to every occasion, big or small. Tony Bellew lost his 34th and final fight here on Saturday night, stopped in the eighth round by one of the finest champions in boxing, Oleksandr Usyk.

Curiously, it was probably Bellew’s most complete boxing performance in his 11 years as a professional, and it needed to be against Usyk, who arrived as the first undisputed cruiserweight champion since Evander Holyfield 30 years ago but the only one to hold these four belts. He left as the avenger of the last big Ukrainian to visit these shores, Wladimir Klitschko, and he might well be back. He would be more than welcome.

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