Exclusive: Bob Ajisafe praises ex-foe Tony Bellew, not surprised by success

Joe Hewlett 23/05/2017

Sky Sports

It’s been over two months since Tony Bellew shocked the world in defeating David Haye at the 02 in London. The Evertonian beat the Londoner via a stoppage in the eleventh round to settle their grudge match.

One fighter who wasn’t surprised with the success Bellew has gone on to achieve throughout his career is Bob Ajisafe. The Yorkshireman lost a close encounter to the heavyweight contender back in 2010.

“He’s always been driven and has always been in control of his own destiny. He’s also had the help of being in the hands of a super powerhouse promoter in Eddie Hearn who has guided him with big opportunities starting off with the light-heavyweight title, before moving on to claiming the WBC cruiserweight world title,” Ajisafe exclusively told World Boxing News.

“You have to capitalise on those chances and Tony has. He’d be the first to admit that he’s probably not the most talented but he makes up for that with his work ethic and the combinations to put on a certain fight.”

Bellew is currently recovering from a hand injury suffered in his previous fight against Haymaker but is red-hot on the lips of fellow heavyweights and current divisional champions.

‘The Bomber’ has admitted he’s interested in three options. One of them being Joseph Parker the WBO champion. The second being American Deontay Wilder, the WBC title holder. And option three being a highly-anticipated rematch with Haye.

Ajisafe, who is chasing his dream of becoming a world champion, believes that Bellew is the prime example of achieving beyond limits.

“Hard work and dedication is definitely something that takes you a long way in all walks of life especially boxing,” he said.

“You have to have an element of talent though to succeed at the top of the elite level. Those at the top have a real good skill set and combine it with the hard work and dedication.

“If you don’t put in the work though, that talent won’t get you to the top,” Ajisafe added.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95