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Usyk KOs Bellew in 8th round, retains cruiserweight titles

Tony Bellew, right, hits Oleksandr Usyk with a right during their cruiserweight boxing bout Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Manchester, England. Usyk successfully defended his four belts and likely sent Bellew into retirement by knocking out the British fighter in the eighth round. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Undisputed world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk successfully defended his four belts and sent Tony Bellew into retirement by knocking out the British fighter in the eighth round in Manchester on Saturday.

Usyk took control when he sent Bellew to the canvas by following up a straight right with a looping left. The referee got to a count of six before calling off the fight.

It was the Ukrainian boxer's 16th straight win as a professional and his first defense since becoming the unified champion in July. He could now move up to heavyweight - the level he won at which he won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 - and his promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, said in the ring Usyk could fight three-belt heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

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