Trainer Dave Coldwell has confirmed to WBN that Tony Bellew’s opponent for December 12 has been finalised, and is expecting promoter Eddie Hearn to announce it to the public some time this week.
Many are expecting Bellew (25-2-1, 16 KO) to be getting his third crack at a world title, having failed on the previous two occasions. Both those losses came at light heavyweight and since that most recent defeat to the hard-hitting Adonis Stevenson, ‘the Bomber’ has moved up in weight and won five on the bounce.
That move up to cruiserweight has coincided with the appointment of Sheffield’s Coldwell – who also trains Gavin and Jamie Mcdonnell – and Coldwell feels the division is a lot stronger than people give it credit for.
“The cruiserweight division is very strong and tough, with great depth. Just because some of the fighters aren’t really known to the general boxing fans, people see it as weak – but it’s not,” Coldwell told World Boxing News.
“It’s got all these Eastern Europeans who fans might not know, so they’re not rated. But these guys are monsters and until they’re in the big fights and become marketable, we don’t hear about them.
“If you’re going to be a world champion, you’ve got to earn it and I believe Tony Bellew can beat anyone if given the right game plan,” he added.
The 32 year-old Bellew will be fighting on the undercard of heavyweight Anthony Joshua’s British title bout with Dillian Whyte on December 12, and Coldwell feels the diehard Everton fan will never get the credit he deserves as a boxer.
He said: “We know Tony’s opponent and it’s all sorted, we are just waiting for it to be announced. It’s a very good fight and a big one for us.
“Tony’s a very intelligent boxer and can adjust to whoever is put in front of him. If he needs to bang he will or if he has to box, he can do that. Some fights you can’t just go out and swing wildly.
“He’s a fighter who will never get the credit he deserves. He speaks his mind; he’s a character and wears his heart on his sleeve. You can’t knock him for how he is. But some people don’t like that, In boxing you will never please everyone. Look at Floyd Mayweather, he’s been a class act for 20 years and people still don’t like him; so if he can get stick, what chance has Tony Bellew got. People want characters and then you get one and get they get slated.”
Matt Horan is a staff writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123