Tony Bellew left it late to produce his finest work as a gutsy finish against excellent Pole, Mateusz Masternak, was enough to see him collect a narrow points victory which ensured he became continental ruler and paved the way for an imminent world title shot.
In a tight contest that saw both fighters have their moments, Bellew’s dominant ending sealed the win and a delighted Dave Coldwell was impressed with his man’s desire in the championship rounds.
“The way I was scoring it, I couldn’t leave anything to chance,” revealed Coldwell immediately after the fight. “Masternak had a good middle of the fight and a few rounds were close so I knew the last couple were up for grabs and he had to just go out there and make it count. It worked out well for Tony as he got the verdict and it was those last two rounds that nicked it for him. That last round saw him put in an immense effort and 30 seconds more then we’re probably looking at a stoppage win but a victory over Masternak for such a prestigious title was our original goal and I’m delighted we achieved it.”
Victory over Masternak is likely to propel Bellew onto the radar of the cruiserweight division’s champions and a lucrative showdown with one of the belt holders will bring the Liverpool man one step closer to his world title dream. Coldwell is relishing the prospect of testing his charge against the leading names of boxing’s most slept on league and he is adamant that Bellew covers himself in glory when the opportunity arises.
“He’s getting to the level I want him to be at and the more time I spend with him fills me with more confidence that he can make a massive statement at world level. We’ve only been working with each other for a couple of years so there’s still so much more to come from him. I guarantee you that. Saturday was a massive result for him against a world class guy who’ll go onto bigger things himself in the future but the moment belongs to Tony Bellew and I’m hopeful that he’ll have many more successful nights coming up.”