December 22, 2016
December 22, 2016
tony bellew

Action Images/Ed Sykes

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The 80-page Christmas special edition of Boxing News magazine is out now. Here is an exclusive extract as Tony Bellew reflects on his 2016:

“I’LL be totally honest, beating Junior [Ilunga] Makabu at Goodison Park was the greatest night of my career. I’d say the greatest night of my life but my wife would kill me. It’s crazy that my career is still going on because it won’t get any better than that. I’m over the moon. It was a dream fight at dream location against a nightmare opponent; I hate southpaws, particularly big-punching southpaws, I despise them with a passion. But I had to go in there as the underdog, and I made people eat humble pie again.

“I should have arrived at Goodison two hours before the fight, but I arrived just under three hours before. I wanted to get a feel for it – not enjoy it – but soak it up, and get a feeling for what I’d achieved and how I got there. I got to the dressing room a bit early, and from there I got to the ground and I walked up the steps. I wanted to have a look at the ring while the lads were fighting in there [on the undercard]. As I went running up the stairs some lads came running over, ‘Tony, can we have a picture?’ The security did a good a job, and said, ‘Not now guys, after the fight you can do whatever you want.’ Then I just heard, ‘Dad.’ I froze. Bear in mind, my son had never been to one of my fights and he’ll never go to another one. It was just that I had to have him there on that night, because when my three boys get older and I wanted one of them to say they were there that night. He was 11, and I wanted him to experience it. He’d always begged me to go to fights and I’d always said no. I’ve boxed in arenas and that’s no place for a young child, dangerous and nasty things happen there sometimes, and he understands that…”

Don’t miss the latest issue of Boxing News magazine to read the rest of this feature and much, much more in an 80-page Christmas special