Tony Bellew faces arguably the most formidable opponent of his career, with the unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk widely regarded as one of the finest fighters in any weight class right now.
The Ukrainian holds the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO cruiserweight titles, plus the Ring Magazine belt.
Bellew came in at 199.4lbs during Friday’s weigh-in, one pound heavier than his opponent ahead of their showdown in Manchester tonight.
The build-up to this event has seen none of the dramatics that have occasionally overshadowed the Liverpudlian’s bouts, and the respect between the pair was clear at the weigh-in.
“He doesn’t speak good enough English that I can banter with him, get him going,” Bellew said.
“I won’t lie, I would if I could! I like a bit of back and forth.
“But ultimately, I admire him. I have no bad words for him – it is unusual for me to give a man so much credit.
“I am always confident. It has been a long camp but I have been very diligent in how I’ve prepared. Making the weight was not a problem.”
What time does the main event start tonight?
Bellew and Usyk are scheduled to perform their ring walks at approximately 10pm GMT.
The fight itself is expected to start around 10.20pm.
Fans will be able to watch the showdown live on Sky Sports Box Office this evening, with the undercard due to get underway at 6pm.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Tony Bellew odds
(Odds courtesy of Betfair)