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Usyk vs Bellew: Tony Bellew is still the WBC's emeritus champion ahead of undisputed fight

Tony Bellew celebrates victory over BJ Flores for the WBC World cruiserweight title at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sa
Image: Tony Bellew is a former WBC cruiserweight champion

Tony Bellew is still the WBC 'emeritus' champion ahead of his fight with Oleksandr Usyk for all the world cruiserweight titles, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed.

Bellew will challenge Usyk, the division's undisputed champion, in Saturday's fight at the Manchester Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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After stopping Ilunga Makubu in May 2016, Bellew claimed the WBC cruiserweight title, defending it once by halting BJ Flores, and then was granted 'emeritus' status after he moved up to heavyweight for domestic clashes with David Haye.

Tony Bellew, Oleksandr Usyk
Image: Bellew challenges Oleksandr Usyk for the WBC, IBF, WBA and WBO belts

"Tony Bellew is the WBC emeritus champion," Sulaiman told Sky Sports. "We cannot forget the relationship between Bellew and the WBC.

"When he lost as mandatory contender against [Adonis] Stevenson, he went down in perception. He went to cruiserweight and the WBC allowed him to fight for the vacant championship.

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Bellew is on the brink of history when he faces Usyk, live on Sky Sports Box Office

"He was dropped in the first round, and came back as a warrior and knocked out [Ilunga] Makabu to become the world champion.

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"He then asked the WBC for permission to make a life-changing fight, which was David Haye. He made the money that he had always dreamed, and he knocked out Haye not once, but twice, representing the WBC.

"Now he will fight Usyk as emeritus champion against the unified champion, so we're very much in favour of this fight, and we will do as much as possible to enhance the unification of titles."

Tale Of The Tape - Usyk vs Bellew

Watch Usyk vs Bellew for the undisputed cruiserweight title, at Manchester Arena, on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it online here.

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