News September 2011

Livefight.com talks to Tony Bellew

19.09.11

By @ilovetitles (John Evans)

Clev faces Bellew in his next defence

Tony Bellew is one of British boxings most polarising figures. However, love him or hate him you cannot deny that he is one of the most interesting and honest characters that boxing possesses. The British and Commonwealth light heavyweight champion took time out from a non stop media tour to promote his eagerly awaited clash with Nathan Cleverly to answer questions posed to him by Livefight.com members.

If your question made it, thanks! If not, Iím sorry! Maybe next time


How well do you get on with Frank Warren and how involved is he in your career?

I know a lot of fighters struggle to speak to Frank but from day one Iíve always got on well with him and spoke to him. He invites me to his box to watch the games and heís really good to me. Iíve got a fantastic relationship with Frank Warren. Heís a great promoter and heís proven over the years what a fantastic promoter he is. Heís also a family man like myself. Heís someone I have a lot of respect for.

How involved are you in the choice of opponents, gloves, purses and venues?

To be honest Iím a boxer and all I do is box. I leave all that kind of stuff to my manager and team and the people who are around me. I donít really like to have too much say in that kind of thing. I choose my gloves. I always wear Grant and itíll be no different come October 15th.

What is your walking about weight?



It has varied. Walking around used to be 14 stone but Iíve learnt how to control my weight over the last few years and now I walk around at 13 stone 5lb.

We have heard your views on the headband Cleverly wears to the ring, what do you think of his dress sense?

At times he looks like heís been dressed by the Chuckle brothers. Its selective wear that I wouldnít choose to put on myself but as I say, when I turned up in London I was convinced heíd been dressed by the Chuckle brothers.


How do you answer people who say you havenít earned your chance at a Ďworldí title?

People who say that I donít deserve a chance, the first thing I say to them is that he didnít deserve his chance. Can anybody tell me who heís beat who has any recognition or of any real note. The only guy he was meant to fight was Juergen Braehmer. At the end of the day heís fought Nadjid Mohammedi, a guy who came in at 24 hours notice and gave him all he could handle when heíd had eight weeks to prepare. You look at Karo Murat who is a blown up super middleweight who robbed Gabriel Campillo blind when they fought. Then he fights Antonio Brancalion and is in a total slugfest. An all out war. Brancalion was then iced clean out in one round by Braehmer. To be honest his stats donít match up to much. He can go on about my style all he wants saying Iíve been knocked down by Ovill McKenzie but the fact of the matter is that he didnít wanna fight McKenzie. He was offered the chance to fight him to win the Lonsdale belt outright after McKenzie won Prizefighter and he said no. McKenzie was highly avoided. Now ok, his record tells lies but everybody who wins Prizefighter seems to progress really well after it. Look at the likes of Gavin Rees. Ovill McKenzie wins Prizefighter and nobody wants to go anywhere near him. I fight not once, but twice! I stop him the first time and everybody whinges about the stoppage and going into the rematch everybody says itís a 50:50 fight. I go in and execute pure boxing. Itís about hitting and not being hit.


Do you honestly think you put on a ďboxing master classĒ against Ovill McKenzie?

You get hyped up and carried away by the moment. Iím not saying it was a boxing master class. Iíd just come out of a twelve round fight. What I will say is look at the people who were posting stuff before the fight. Look at what they were saying before the McKenzie rematch. Everybody said it was a 50:50 fight and another war. I go in there and turn it into an easy, easy one sided beatdown. Thatís all it was. If Iím doing something and its working, why should I change it mid fight? If Floyd Mayweather is boxing the head off Manny Pacquiao after eight rounds do you think heís gonna get into a slugfest with him? Heís not is he? Its upto Pacquiao to change. It was exactly the same with me. I was boxing, winning every round comfortably and the onus was not on me to change things after six rounds. It was all on Ovill McKenzie. He didnít change his gameplan because he couldnít. He couldnít attack me because everytime I touched him I hurt him, and there were no power shots thrown. I know how heavy handed I can be and how hard I can punch. At the end of the fifth round I said to him ďThatís it. Youíre finished now. You know youíre finishedĒ and he put his head down and it was over. Cleverly stated at ringside before the fight that it was a 50:50 fight and said heíd been sparring with McKenzie and that he was a very good fighter. After the fight there was nothing he could say. All he could come out with was that it was a boring fight. What he didnít say was that Iíd just dominated somebody who was highly dangerous, highly unpredictable and highly powerful.

Stuart Hall seemed to come unstuck a couple of weeks ago against Jamie McDonnell when he lacked a plan B. Will you be working on a plan a, b and c?

I always have different plans when I fight. What I will say is that thatís the first time Stuart Hall has fought somebody of championship class and really had to dig deep. Heís always had things, not so much his own way but how he sees fit. Now Iíve been through some traumatic times whether itís in a boxing ring or in life. Iíve been through the mill so I know what to expect and I know what Iím capable of. I also know that I wonít fold under pressure. These are things that I do know. I think Stuey Hall is a brilliant fighter and he will come again but I just think he was a bit inexperienced with things that go on in fights. Iíve experienced what its like to be in a tough fight. Iíve been knocked down and nearly out. I understand what its like to get up and win. Experience is a massive thing. Iíve probably experienced more in my career than Cleverly has in his. What I havenít had are the opponents to show it against. Thatís all Iím missing. I believe this fight is a step up but that its also a step up for Cleverly. Heís never fought anyone as good as me and Iíve never fought anyone as good as him.


Which line are you most proud of from your press conferences to date?

Haha. Which line? Do you know what, I donít even think about what Iím saying. It just comes out. I couldnít tell you because I couldnít remember one line off the top of my head. In fact, a reporter said to me today ďDonít you think you should give your mouth a rest and start fighting?Ē and I said to him ďits all about opinions mate and in my opinion you look like the fat controllerĒ and the whole room fell about laughing. He was the image of the fat controller from Thomas the Tank Engine. My boys have been watching it so I know all the characters but that was one of the funniest. Conferences are for the press, not for boxers and if I had my wish theyíd never have press conferences. Itís half of the reason Iíve got this fight though so I canít complain.

Can I say thanks to all the fans at Livefight.com for supporting me and giving me credit when itís due. I canít thank them enough and come fight night Iíll be showing out for them.

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