19
Sep
2020

Exclusive: ‘I’m up against it’ vs Ilunga Makabu, admits Tony Bellew

Phil Jay 22/04/2016

Lawrence Lustig / WBC

Tony Bellew pulled no punches in a recent interview with WBN as the Liverpudlian labelled himself the underdog for his world title clash against Ilunga Makabu on May 29.

‘The Bomber’ faces the dangerous and big-punching Congan at Everton Football Club’s stadium at Goodison Park and says he’ll have to do it the hard way in his third attempt to become a world champion.

Previous losses to Adonis Stevenson and Nathan Cleverly at light heavyweight, the latter of which he avenged, are followed up by a chance in what Bellew calls ‘his ideal division’ – with the prestigious WBC belt at stake for both men.

Makabu has knocked out 18 of 19 opponents since being stopped himself in his pro debut and has been rated number one by the World Boxing Council since a 2014 victory over veteran Glen Johnson.

“I think he’s a fantastic fighter. He’s one of the best cruiserweights in the world and I think I’m up against it,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I think Makabu is the favourite in this fight for a reason and I’ve got to go out there again against all odds and do it. But if you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best and Ilunga Junior Makabu is one of the best.

“He’s an exceptional fighter and good at what he does but do I think he’s faced anyone as good as me? – No I don’t. Do I think he’s been hit as hard as I’m going to hit him? – No I don’t. But do I think he’s good enough to take those punches? – Yes I do.

“It’s going to come down to who wants it the most on the night and whose most tactically aware come fight night,” he added.

Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd and new David Coldwell fighter Paul Economides have so far been confirmed for the undercard, whilst ticket information and further announcements are due from promoter Eddie Hearn in the next week or so.