Tony Bellew had declared war, but the bomber was shot by destroying the Ukrainian anti-aircraft gun when he reached the stars in vain.
No undisputed cruiserweight world championship. No British history was made in the first fight for all four belts that would ever take place in a ring in this country.
Not a glorious finale for a brave career.
Oleksandr Usyk celebrates his emphatic victory over Tony Bellew with his impressive series of title belts on Saturday
The unbeaten 31-year-old proudly braves the Ukrainian flag in the Manchester Arena after his last win
Usyk and Bellew really showed each other after the fascinating cruiserweight title fight over the weekend
Usyk eliminated Bellew in the eighth round with an emphatic and heavy blow in the Manchester Arena
The Ukrainian celebrates his emphatic victory in the boxing ring on Saturday, which put an end to Bellew's career
The 35-year-old Englishman Bellew falls on the canvas while his promoter Eddie Hearn urges him to the first rank
Bellew tries desperately to get up, but after his eighth-round knockout in Manchester he fails
It all ended on a heap in the eighth round with the great Oleksandr Usyk kneeling in a thanksgiving prayer in a neutral corner.
But also with good grace and a speech filled with sporting admiration for a maestro of noble art.
& # 39; Oleksandr, & # 39; Bellew said. & # 39; You are a great champion. The biggest fighter with whom I have ever shared a ring. No complaints. No apologies. & # 39;
Just a supplication for the master. Usyk set him up with seven rounds of agonizing southpaw jabbing. Ruthless rights.
Then we knew it was time, the holder of the WBC, WBA, IBF WBO and ring binders went for his merciless links.
Anxious. Bellew turned back with alarm in his eyes.
Anxious. The bomber collapsed on his back. He came as far as his knees when referee Terry O & # 39; Connor decided it did not make sense to count after seven.
It was not the glorious end for which he had ventured to hire a modern master, but there was no shame in his departure.
Those who had come to the Manchester Arena, dreaming of a miracle, were also sporty. They cheered and appealed to the skills of Usyk, just as they gave Bellew a benevolent mission to the reward.
Anthony Joshua will have looked fascinated. Usyk plans to go to heavyweight next year and to Wembley Stadium.
Usyk lands the winning punch on the Englishman during the eighth round of the long-awaited fight
Usyk and Bellew put an exciting boxing match for the upcoming fans in Manchester on Saturday night
The liver pudlian tries to avoid one of the heavy blows of Usyk by bending in the ring at the weekend
Bellew started on the front foot but his 31-year-old opponent quickly began to show his class during the fight
Bellew and Usyk exchange some success during the early moments of the cruiserweight fight during the weekend
Bellew, who was expecting the toughest fight of his life, shows off his fast feet during the early exchanges
It is doubtful whether Manchester has ever come true in such a full and raw support from a Liverpool player, but this city was full of crying behind Bellew when he went into history.
The crowd and the atmosphere were certainly stimulated by the return to the championship track of Anthony Crolla. They love their neighbor here. But the boxing community was also won by Bellew's courage in making a final roll of the dice against one of the most formidable of today's world champions.
A hero from the working class is something to be, wherever he comes from.
Crolla played his part by setting a too fast and furious pace for the Indonesian contender Daud Yordan when he ran away with a unanimous decision – 116-112 on the cards of all three judges – which apparently places him in another WBA lightweight title shot.
But even as Crolla put the finishing touches to his evening work, the loudest cheers so far came as Bellew's photos in his locker room and ready to go appeared on the big screens.
Undoubtedly it helped that he was decked out – gum-shield and so on – in Everton blue and not in Liverpool red.
Bomber's flame broke out as he entered the arena, taking his place on a spotlighted pedestal with sirens wailing before he jogged the last yards to the ring for the last time.
Jeers accompanied Usyk on his journey, but he is used to fighting thousands of miles from home in hostile environments. For the right size he crossed himself before he looked ominously at the crowd.
After all the talk, the first minutes were cleared and it was Bellew who first started the attack. There was hardly as much as southpaw jab from Usyk as Bellew took the opener, almost standard.
Belles enters the ring for his fight against the undefeated Ukrainian on Saturday-evening in Manchester
Bellew walks to the ring from his dressing room while the excited fans take pictures of the man of the moment
The champion got that good work in the second and Bellew showed his temper when Usyk laughed when he was cut. Each landed on a big shot but Usyk was busier.
Bellew had threatened to show that he was dodging when Usyk was looking for that jab. It was still tidy and Bellew just moved the third with a late flurry.
The couple smiled at each other because they both avoided the power shots of the other. Bellew tried to invade Usyk by resting his arms on his ropes. But Usyk was slightly better off the following, threatening exchanges.
Bellew managed to get a few meaty lefts in the fifth, but he spent most of the round eating the Usyk punch and was caught a few times himself.
Out of frustration with Bellew's desire for a fight, Usyk lived up to his promise of & # 39; do my usual boxing. & # 39; The Bomber tried to work out the maestro, but it was a subdued first half of the fight with only an occasional roar for Bellew.
Usyk did not seem to have the power to discourage Bellew, but he discouraged the Bomber with its speed and movement and kept it largely on its hind leg.
Bellew was forced to play the role of counter-puncher and the end was close.
Usyk has finally revealed the brilliance that places him in the top five pound-for-pounder in the world. A flurry of rights was followed by stumbling to the left. As Bellew stepped back, the Ukrainian went to the finish.
A massive left dropped the British challenger flat on his back. Without the hope that he would stand up completely, the referee waved him away before he finished the ten counts.
Amir Khan rounds off with former American boxer Thomas Hearns prior to Bellew's long-awaited fight with Usyk