Exclusive: Tony Bellew explains Sunday date for world title shot
Cruiserweight world title challenger Tony Bellew spoke to WBN in the hours after confirming that he will fight Junior Makabu for the WBC belt at his beloved Goodison Park on May 29.
Eyebrows were initially raised when the realisation sunk in that the date in question was a Sunday, although Bellew pointed out that as his initial date of June 4 was unworkable and the final weekend in May – being a bank holiday, was the ideal scenario for the bout.
“We sat down with Sky Sports and they had a bill on the 28th, plus we couldn’t stage it in June like we wanted to do as the pitch at Goodison is getting re-laid,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News on Tuesday afternoon.
“We looked at dates and it also couldn’t be after the 4th of June or anytime sooner than the week before with the amount of time we had for prep. Once we sat down and said June 4th was off, I thought that it was the fastest meeting ever and it wasn’t going to happen.
“Then we had a look at the calender and saw it was bank holiday weekend on the 29th of May so I said let’s do it on the Sunday. There were a few laughs at first, but I said, ‘trust me, nowhere comes alive on a bank holiday weekend like Liverpool! – I’ll put my house on it!’
“This has taken a long time to do and there has been lots of things going on in the background. There are a couple of minor details to iron out, but besides that it’s all done and I can’t wait.”
Asked whether the having just six weeks remaining until battling the dangerous African was a worry, Bellew added: “I’ve been in camp for over a month and I always try to stay in some kind of shape.
“I don’t always look the best but I’m always fit. That’s the main thing and it’s never too hard to pick things up in camp. I’m never really completely out of fighting shape. I can be out of shape appearance-wise, but I’m always in shape when it comes to the actual fitness side of things.
“I’m so determined anyway that nothing will get in my way in camp and I’ll be ready for fight night,” he promised.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is set to add a cluster of Mersey talent to the late spring bill, with lightweight Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd already nailed down and more names to be rubberstamped in the coming weeks.