Bellew sends a message to the Valleys

30 Apr

Liverpool’s British light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew, sent a strong message to rival Nathan Cleverly with a sensational fifth round knockout against former European title holder Danny McIntosh in the first defence of his lonsdale belt in front of a packed out crowd at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

From the off the 29 year old Bellew was the stronger fighter, using his far superior boxing skills to beat McIntosh to the punch. With each blow landed by Bellew, his army of fans roared, spurring their man on to continue the pressure. On rare occasions McIntosh threatened to hurt the Liverpudlian but found little success, he came in with lazy shots and it was clear that after taking a couple of blows, McIntosh’s heart was not in the fight.

Bellew’s immaculate timing led to him catching ‘Big Mac’ several times, hurting the Norwich man. From as early as the second round, Bellew threatened the stoppage, constantly leaving the challenger on unsteady legs before finally making him touch the canvas in the last moments of the fourth.

In the fifth round, Bellew looked to continue the slick work he had so far provided for the fans. However he was caught by a clash of heads, which left him momentarily fazed. But the slow stream of blood coming down the left side of the champs face sent a shockwave through his system and he honed in for the kill. With a dip of the shoulder and a swing of the right, Bellew caught McIntosh flush on the chin sending the former European champ to the floor. Instantly the referee waved the bout off, he was clearly never getting up from the hammer blow, sending Bellew into wild celebrations.

The night proved to be a wonderful return to ring action for Tony ‘The Bomber’ Bellew. For six months Bellew wanted to end the frustration of coming off his first professional loss. In his world title shot against long time rival Nathan Cleverly, Bellew put on a clinical performance to do enough to dethrone the WBO champ, but he went home without the decision and without the belt. However Bellew has since not got the rematch he desired. Despite being promised a second crack at the Welshman, Bellew is still waiting. Instead he has had to watch ‘Clev’ make a low profile defence against American Tommy Karpency and soon to come another against Robin Krasniqi.

Post fight Bellew spoke with Sky Sports.

“We had to make a statement tonight. Hopefully that was a big performance,”

“The guy in the Valleys (Cleverly) doesn’t want to fight me. We agreed to have a rematch – an immediate rematch – if anything was close. I was promised it, but I wasn’t given it. Promises were broken.

“I want that fight. I’ll fight him tomorrow. I’ll go to Wales to fight him, I’ll fight him in his garden.”

Bellew, who is a promotional free agent, may look to sign with a promoter in order to help him secure his shot at Cleverly or another title holder. In his interview with Sky Sports, Bellew spoke of levels, saying he never new his level. Clearly he belongs with the elite. With his consistently improving boxing skill and raw KO power, Bellew deserves to hold a world title. Who he may sign with is a mystery. The fight with McIntosh was promoted by up and coming promoter Dave Coldwell with help from Matchroom to provide the television rights. Matchroom’s presence at the contest led their head of boxing Eddie Hearn being in Liverpool. Post fight Eddie seemed to be circling and has since been singing ‘The Bomber’s praises. In the last few years Matchroom and Eddie Hearn have become forces to be reckoned with, Signing up some of the country’s most exciting young and established fighters and providing them with both big nights and big opportunities. With his ambition to rule the boxing world, could Tony Bellew be the next to join the ranks?

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