Exclusive: Coldwell awaits date for Bellew defence, discusses Huck, Briedis or Kucher chances

Matt Horan 11/07/2016

Trainer Dave Coldwell is hoping for another memorable night in Liverpool as he awaits confirmation of Tony Bellew’s first defence of his WBC cruiserweight world title.

It is just over a month since Bellew (27-2-1, 17 KO) won the coveted green belt after stopping the dangerous and highly-avoided Ilunga Makabu in the third round of their title bout at Goodison Park – home of Bellew’s beloved Everton FC.

It was a moment that saw ‘the Bomber’ finally achieve a lifelong dream having twice failed previously to get boxing’s golden prize. Much of the 33 year-old’s recent success can be put down to his work with Coldwell, whose reputation as a trainer continues to flourish.

Coldwell is hopeful of getting news of a fight date from promoter Eddie Hearn pretty soon and admits that he had asked about the possibility of facing Dmytro Kucher – who most recently stopped Enzo Maccarinelli to win the European title – before the Ukranian priced himself out of the fight.

“Eddie’s just sorting out a date and we should know pretty soon about Tony’s first defence,” Coldwell exclusively told World Boxing News. “We are back in the gym now and he’s looking forward to getting back out there – he is ready to go back to work.

“He achieved his dream of winning a world title but now the job of being a champion has only just begun. A few names have been banded about for the next opponent, but the one I wanted was Kucher and I thought that if he beat Enzo, which he did, that would be a credible win for Tony and a good fight.


“So we asked Eddie to try and get the fight, but apparently he wanted an absolute fortune which surprised us as he hasn’t made massive money previously. Maybe he saw the Makabu fight and thought ‘I want good money if I’m up against that.’ Whatever the reason, the fight doesn’t look likely now.”

One name that continues to be linked with ‘the Bomber’ is the WBC mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis (20-0, 17 KO) from Latvia who is yet another live opponent in what is quickly becoming the most exciting division in boxing.

Coldwell continued: “Briedis is the mandatory so we need to see what’s happening with that and leave it to Eddie and the WBC to sort out – we would like a voluntary first. It’s a tough fight and he can punch, but we’re not overly worried about it.

“This is a quality division with strength in depth and wherever you look there are very tough fighters who can all bang. A few years ago, the one killer of the division was Marco Huck, now he’s just one of the threats out there.

“Tony is one of the best and he is WBC world champion. We are expecting to have another great night in Liverpool, his days of being a supporting act are over and he deserves his own shows now.”

Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123