You won’t like Tony Bellew when he’s angry
TONY BELLEW is not best known for his discretion before and after a big fight, and we were reminded about just how brilliantly spiteful the Liverpudlian can be both inside and outside the ropes this weekend.
BJ Flores, despite the respect he afforded WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew during fight week, had ‘The Bomber’ riled up and it spilled over a little at the weigh-in, then gushed everywhere on fight night. Rather than pick his shots and break Flores down, a marauding Bellew tore straight into him – shipping a fair bit along the way – dropping the American four times before forcing a third round stoppage.
He then wasted no time in turning on David Haye, who was working as a pundit at ringside. The pair have traded barbs in the media ever since Bellew won the title earlier this year, but he went full WWE this weekend by jumping out the ring and confronting Haye – or ‘SpongeBob Squarepants,’ as Tony called him. Adrenaline coursing through his veins and a baying Merseyside crowd egging him on, Bellew unleashed a tirade of epic proportions, videos of which quickly went viral on social media.
Suddenly, everyone was talking about the possibility of the two fighting. Some wanted Bellew to get knocked out, others Haye, while some seemed to want the pair of them to produce some sort of double knockout where they both end up losing. Both possess the gift of the gab and divide opinion – and they can both seriously whack. It may take a fair bit of negotiating, but a Bellew-Haye fight is an enticing prospect.
Luke Campbell is ready for the world
WITH only 16 professional fights under his belt, it may seem too soon to throw Campbell into world title contention, but after he knocked out Derry Mathews in four rounds in Liverpool it’s hard to argue with his credentials.
As an amateur, the 2012 gold medallist excelled and is wildly decorated, having travelled the world to box – and most of the time, beat – some of the best operators around. That experience has clearly stood him in good stead. Earlier this year he rose from the canvas to outpoint former world champion and classy boxer Argenis Mendez. Mathews himself took WBO lightweight champ Terry Flanagan the 12 round distance in March – in comparison, Campbell’s win is far more impressive.
There seems no need to hold Campbell back now. He may need to box in an eliminator or two in order to secure a shot, but the Hull native would be a handful for any of the current champions.
Never underestimate a Murray
JOHN MURRAY was an absorbing fighter back in his day and was no stranger to springing an upset. Turns out his younger brother Joe is cut from the same cloth. The 29-year-old travelled to Denmark this weekend as a heavy underdog for his fight with unbeaten Rashid Kassem.
Though he doesn’t hold any notable wins, Kassem was being touted as a decent prospect and was fancied to turn back Murray’s challenge. Joe ripped up the script in the first when he dropped an over-confident Kassem and forced him to engage in a brawl. It was brilliant stuff but things went up a level in the sixth. Kassem had begun to work his way back into the fight and was gaining momentum – until Murray uncorked a right hand which almost took Rashid’s head clean off his shoulders. He was unconcious before he hit the deck and Murray had produced one of the knockouts of the year. Quite the statement.
Ryan Burnett can fight
THE gifted Belfast fighter is known for his smooth boxing and excellent skill, however while retaining his British bantamweight title against Ryan Farrag, Burton also proved he can fight when he needs to. Farrag, a former European champion, turned in a brave effort to keep coming forward despite Burton’s class, and that eventually prompted Burton to stand his ground and battle back.
In the second half of the fight, having already been tagged plenty, Burton opted to sit in the pocket, lean in and trade with his man. It made for a great, albeit fairly one-sided, fight. Farrag tried hard where he could but Burton was always in the ascendency. Displaying a huge engine, he continued to fire in shots from all angles, targeting both head and body.
Neither man looked badly hurt at any point – a testament to their toughness – but Burnett came through challenges he was yet to face as a pro.
End of the road for Daniel Geale
OVER in Australia, former world middleweight champion Daniel Geale was knocked out in two rounds by underdog Renold Quinlan. It was the third stoppage defeat for Geale in his last four outings, having also been hammered by Miguel Cotto and Gennady Golovkin.
Quinlan, boxing for the first time this year and just the 12th time since debuting in 2008, had shown no form to suggest he would blitz Geale.
Boxing up at 168lbs, the 35-year-old looked a shell of his former self and it would be a shame to see him continue fighting after this string of punishing defeats. He has since said he won’t be rushed into a decision about his future in the sport. A former IBF and WBA world champion, Geale carved out an impressive career and shouldn’t do it any further harm.