Tony Bellew’s proposed fight against Oleksandr Usyk is in the final stages of being agreed, according to both fighters’ promoters.
Usyk immediately called out Bellew after winning the World Boxing Super Series which made him the undisputed cruiserweight champion in July.
The bout is expected to happen on November 10 in either London or Manchester and Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn claims that in the “next two weeks we’ll know if it’s happening – there is a good chance.”
Hearn told Sky Sports: “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 also told Sky Sports: “We are very close to finalising the deal and announcing the fight. Most likely it will take place on November 10 in the UK.”
The Ukrainian has won all 15 fights since winning an Olympic gold medal at London 2012.
He took the WBO and WBC belts in the World Boxing Super Series final against Murat Gassiev, where his 12-round victory saw him win the IBF and WBA titles too.
Bellew thus has the opportunity to hold all four major belts at cruiserweight after achieving back-to-back heavyweight victories over David Haye.
Hearn added: “When you get an opportunity like this to be undisputed champion, something that he’s dreamed of since he laced up a pair of gloves, he can’t let it go.
“But this will be his last fight, I will make sure of that, and he will give every ounce if it happens.”
Bellew, 35, has not had to make the cruiserweight weight limit since defending his world title against BJ Flores in October 2016.
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Hearn said: “He’s started now in camp, because if it’s November, it’s 11 weeks and he’s got to get his weight down.
“He’s on that already. He was out in Portugal last week training, and he’s in a good place.”
A return to the city where Usyk won his Olympic gold would be something he would relish, his promoter saying: “Oh, England is the motherland for boxing. Every intelligent person is aware of that.
“Usyk has become the Olympic champion in England and he is looking forward to defending all of his four belts. That will be a great honour for him and his team!”
Usyk has also made his intention clear to step up to heavyweight and challenge Anthony Joshua.
Krassyuk said: “The boxing world would desire the clash of two Olympic champs and two [future] undisputed professionals.”