WBC cruiserweight title challenger and number one-rated Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu plans to break Scouse hearts next month on what will be the big puncher’s first UK visit.
The dangerous African southpaw meets staunch Evertonian Tony Bellew at the club’s Goodison Park stadium on May 29 having positioned himself as the World Boxing Council’s mandatory contender.
Makabu has won eighteen of nineteen bouts by knockout since losing his debut via a disputed stoppage, and is widely regarded - even by Bellew himself, as one of the better 200 pound fighters in the world today.
Having been first in line to fight for the green strap, Makabu accepted promoter Eddie Hearn’s offer to face Bellew for a vacant championship once ex-belt holder Grigory Drozd was stripped for pulling out of two scheduled contests. That leaves Makabu and Bellew free to battle it out in on a busy bank holiday weekend in Liverpool, with the away boxer certain that the currently unoccupied title will be coming home with him that night.
"What I can say about May 29 and my fight at Goodison Park? - Well, Tony Bellew has made a big mistake to put himself in front of me,” Makabu exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I believe that by round three he'll start to cry for his mother from the punishment I give him. In round four, he'll then cry for his father but both of them and nobody else can come in the ring to help him.
“They will be crying together with his fans outside of the ring. But in round five, I will reunite them again when I force his trainer to throw in the towel and stop a fight.
“Trust me, it will be a bad day in the ring for Tony Bellew,” added.
It’s a sombre prediction from Makabu, who has been made the favourite by many - including Bellew, to claim his first world title.
Bellew, 32, is hoping to make it third time lucky for himself where a recognised belt is concerned, after previously losing out to Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson at the light-heavyweight limit.