Tony Bellew is firmly focused on world-title honours ahead of his cruiserweight debut against Russia veteran Valery Brudov at Liverpool’s Echo Arena tonight.
The 31-year-old former British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion makes the step up after his bid to unseat the WBC’s 175lbs ruler Adonis Stevenson was curtailed in six painful rounds.
Earlier this week, promoter Kalle Sauerland described a prospective clash between Bellew and his all-action WBO cruiserweight king Marco Huck as “Inevitable” when speaking to WBN earlier this week w, while the Liverpudlian’s number seven ranking could bring WBC titleist Krzysztof Wlodarczyk into view.
Bellew holds both men in high regard, along with respective IBF and WBA belt-holders Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Guillermo Jones, and believes an assault on this evenly matched group is a different proposition to his ultimately fruitless tilt at Stevenson.
“It would be unfair to say one is the outstanding one,” he told World Boxing News. “It’s not like at light-heavyweight where, for me, Adonis Stevenson was the outstanding champion. He’s the guy who beat the guy.
“He went out and dethroned Chad Dawson in amazing style and he’s just absolutely smashed everyone put in front of him, me included.
“At cruiserweight I wouldn’t say there’s an outstanding guy. The best technical fighter is Hernandez, I’d say the most complete fighter is Wlodarczyk, without doubt the most exciting fighter is Huck and I’d say Jones is probably one of the most consistent fighters in the division – he does a bit of everything.”
Further breaking down the attributes of his counterparts, Bellew added: “Wlodarczyk is a good champion. He reminds me of a prime Glencoffe Johnson. He’s solid, he does everything well and is good at what he does.
“Hernandez is a tall southpaw. A good, punching, back-hand Cuban. He’s clever, he’s wary of taking clean shots.
“Guillermo Jones can do everything as well. He likes a fight – inside, outside. He’s tricky, awkward and can punch.”
And there is a clear indication that Bellew will have welcomed Sauerland’s comments.
“You’re only left with Huck and he’s ‘Mr Excitement’,” he said. “I’m a fan of Marco Huck first and foremost.”
It is analysis that will count for nothing unless business is taken care of against Brudov, something Bellew is confident of doing in style now his struggles to make the 12st 7lbs limit are a thing of the past.
“I feel a lot more solid,” he said. “Nothing really shakes me to the core when I get hit, nothing really bothers me at this weight. I’ve just got a lot more sense of security.
“But we’ll see, time will tell. It’s no good me spouting to you guys, saying I can do this, I can do that. It’s best just waiting, finding out and showing these guys what I’m about and what I can do on fight night.”
You can follow Dom Farrell on Twitter @domfarrell1986