The shock of the Bellew

By G.E. Simons on June 5, 2017
The shock of the Bellew
His TKO of Haye capped an impressive run of results. (Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)

There has been a certain jovial glow about Tony Bellew since his victory over David Haye and there’s nothing shocking about that…

Tony Bellew has been looking good lately, in the ring obviously, but also sartorially as burgeoning media bookings being to blur with the last yards of a career that he has confirmed will continue a fight-at-a-time, after seriously looking at retirement.

In the interviews, color commentary slots and chat show appearances there has also been a certain jovial glow about Tony Bellew since his March victory over David Haye and there’s nothing shocking about that — he beat the Hayemaker.

What is perhaps a little more shocking is the transformation of brand Bellew, from the emaciated, track suited light-heavyweight spitting “You’re a rat” at Nathan Cleverly and duelling foreheads with Adonis Stevenson at Canadian weigh-ins — to now sharing anecdotes about his role in Creed on late night TV and how hard David Haye hits, whilst straightening a silk necktie for camera one.

His technical knockout of Haye in March, capped an impressive run of results following his second career loss at the heavy hands of Adonis Stevens, down at light-heavyweight over in Quebec’s Pepsi Coliseum.

That defeat happened back in 2013 and inspired Bellew’s subsequent and sensible move up to cruiserweight where a good win over Valery Brudov, was followed by an equaliser with Nathan Cleverly.

Unanimously outpointing Mateuesz Masternak under the Millennium Dome followed to set up the fairy-tale knockout of dangerous Ilunga Makuba, which gave the Liverpudlian the WBC title at pitch center of Goodison Park, home to a football club that he follows with a religious fervor.

Five months later Bellew made the first defense of that title against BJ Flores. A simple enough workout for the Champion who floored the Challenger four times in three rounds to retain and immediately feign a heated hate for the ringside David Haye.

The resultant fight with Haye some six months later, was a heavyweight feature attraction that few thought Tony Bellew could or would win and until that Achilles tendon injury incapacitated Haye in the fifth round, it looked unlikely that he would.

Haye came out bombing for the first couple of rounds showing no respect for what might come back and genuinely backed up his pre-fight predictions of looking for and finding an easy, early KO victory.
But his timing was out. His accuracy lacking. His balance uncalibrated.

Bellew boxed with a more measured focus, as he slipped and countered well behind a metallic blue-gloved guard. His game-plan clearly and correctly was going to follow Haye’s own previous approaches to the Nikolai Valuev and Wladimir Klitschko puzzles.

Bellew’s composure, movement and counterpunching accuracy secured the opening brace of rounds on the cards as Haye whistled his bombs into thin air.

Rounds three and four saw Haye acknowledge the situation, sit back a little more and look to establish a rhythm, consider rigging up snares and begin to work his way into a boxing match with the respect it deserved — he took both rounds and looked to be in the ascendancy.

As the bell rang to open the fifth we had an intriguing encounter in prospect with the scorecards level, Bellew tactically perfect and Haye revising his blueprints… but then Prince Paris’s arrow was released from its bow…

So, where next for Tony “Bomber” Bellew, because the options are broad and entertaining now that his athletic ambitions have peaked and he, so we, are looking at a number of possible pay-per-view attractions which could include four realistic opponent possibilities.

Deontay Wilder

Wilder by name and even wilder by nature inside the ring in terms of technical ability but blessed with raw power, Deontay Wilder the WBC heavyweight champion, offers a lucrative but dangerous assignment which would also introduce the American to the broader British public.

Bellew and Wilder formed part of SKY Television’s coverage team for Anthony Johshua’s April encounter with Wladimir Klitshcko and the size differential was notable. But Bellew’s underrated boxing ability could prove tricky for the largely untested WBC champion if, like Haye, he couldn’t land the really big one.

Joseph Parker

New Zealand’s WBO heavyweight champion is unbeaten in 23 with 18 KO’s, boasts decent names on his resume including Andy Ruiz, Alexander Dimitrenko and Carlos Takam so brings a degree of threat.

But although Parker does everything very well, he doesn’t do anything great and with the size differential between the two not so dramatic, the opportunity to fight for a portion of the heavyweight title must be extremely appealing to Bellew and it is a fight he could win.

David Haye

David Haye’s most dangerous opponent now is time and he surely desires and requires a return opportunity with Bellew enough to acquiesce to any demand that the Liverpudlian and his team might insist upon to make this fight happen.

But any rematch surely rests on a Bellew’s inner dialogue and if it is posing the questions: Should I risk 36 minutes with a proven puncher again? Would I beat him without the injury of the first fight? Could I beat him at Goodison Park in early 2018?

Mairis Briedis

The unbeaten Latvian claimed the WBC cruiserweight world title vacated by Bellew in a unanimous points victory over Marco Huck in April, advancing to 22-0 with 18 knockouts in the process.

As WBC Emeritus Champion, Bellew could walk into an immediate challenge for his old title but Briedis has little name value in the UK and brings a hard-hitting and aggressive style where risk and reward are surely too far apart to persuade the Bomber to drop back down to the division he conquered.

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  1. Anonymous 09:11am, 06/05/2017

    Scousers = batshit crazy

    Bellew is a Scouser


    Therefore, Bellew is batshit crazy

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:45am, 06/05/2017

    Lebedev, Gassiev, Usyk, Huck, Glowacki, Wlodarczyk….they all would pound the shit out of him! Haye ruptures his achilles tendon and now Bellew’s ready for Wilder?! The pimp could come up to Cruiser and KO him again, moreover it’s doubtful that he could handle Durodola! Other than that his one endearing quality is that he’s batshit crazy which will undoubtedly help him to make some money before he hangs them up.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:18am, 06/05/2017

    Let’s go Kudryashov!

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