Opinion

Tony Bellew: ‘The boxing industry at the moment is dead on its feet because so few fights are happening’

Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew and Eddie Hearn make a new fight at short notice. Roy Kelly reports from inside the Bubble

Just how did we all cope in the age before mobile phones could do everything? There were fax machines to send vital correspondence through on – those of you under a certain age may need to ask an older person just what a fax was. Two of boxing’s big hitters produced some business via Twitter inside the Bubble in Peterborough. None other than Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew. 

Boxing News reported how, unfortunately, the WBO world middleweight championship match between Savannah Marshall and Hannah Rankin fell through after Peter Fury, coach to the ‘Silent Assassin’ tested positive for COVID19.

It put a spanner in the works and left the show at the East of England Arena a fight light.

That was until a Twitter exchange between Eddie and Tony produced a fight, subject to Board approval and negative COVID tests, between Bellew’s undefeated Liverpool lightweight, Meshech Speare, and Kane Baker, the Brummie recently defeated over eight rounds on the Joshua Buatsi-Marko Calic undercard.

Bellew, after emerging from his night in isolation, told Boxing News that it is an example of how boxers should always be “ready” to fight and how the pandemic has inspired live fights for the Great British public. 

“Eddie’s done fantastic,” said Bomber. “The plant pot never stops, he’s constantly making things happen, making better fights.

“It’s a tough climate we’re in at the moment and we have to find a way through it.

“People must remember that boxers don’t get paid if they don’t fight, so the boxing industry at the moment is dead on its feet because so few fights are happening.

“I’ve just made a fight, which if all tests go through, will happen with Board approval.

“It’s a fight made at the last minute, but as I tell the lads I look after ‘you have to be ready at the drop of a hat’ and in this case it has paid off.

“The only way a fight is going to fall through is COVID and unfortunately it has hit Peter Fury and taken Savannah Marshall off the bill.

“But it gives someone another opportunity and I’m grateful to Eddie Hearn and to Matchroom Boxing to be part of what will be another good bill.”

This is Hearn’s sixth event since COVID and you have to doff your cap to Matchroom’s head honcho for the quality of events, which have produced no lack of exciting matches.

Here in Peterborough, the boxing darling of the Geordie nation, Lewis Ritson, is stepping up against the wily campaigner Miguel Vazquez.

It has to be said that both protagonists look chilled, ‘The Sandman’ has even had a shave, while the only thing to antagonize ‘The Puppet’ today is being told he can’t leave the Bubble post weigh-in to find an Italian restaurant in Peterborough to scoff his favourite treats of pizza and lasagne.

Miguel’s pursuit of calories aside, it has been a day of little drama, even the cheeky Geordie chappie, Joe Laws, only swore a couple of times during the media conference.

His six-rounder with Rylan Charlton has some edge to it, but that aside it’s all been hunky-dory with the boxers counting down to Friday’s important job, stepping on the scales 

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