Tony "Bomber" Bellew may have scaled the giddy heights of a world title challenge last year but don't be fooled into thinking that he's taking his next fight, a defence of his British light heavyweight title, any less seriously.
Adored by his legions of fans, Bellew 16-1 (10) is looking to repay his raucous supporters with a victory over challenger Danny McIntosh on April 14th at Liverpool's Echo Arena.
"This is going to be payback for my fans loyalty", said Bellew when speaking exclusively to coldwellboxing.com
"I've got the best fans in Britain and I won't forget what they did for me that night against Nathan Cleverly. At the moment everyone is in a financial mess after Christmas so I appreciate any support I'll be getting on April 14th.
This fight is unthinkable for me to lose. I know I'm on my way to big things but I've gotta take care of McIntosh first."
The contest has all the ingredients for a thrilling battle. A champion who is looking to put on a show for his fans in attendance, and a challenger - himself a former European champion who is treating this fight like it's his last shot.
McIntosh told coldwellboxing.com last week. "Everything's going into this fight. I'm not gonna get many more chances because no-one's gonna want to fight a guy like me that can punch the way I do." Read the full interview here http://www.coldwellboxing.com/news/?id=56
Last October, 29-year old Bellew was involved in a domestic super fight that grabbed the country's imagination. His titanic tussle with Cleverly, the WBO champion, was a contest of such quality and drama that it will be remembered for years to come. The Liverpudlian may have lost narrowly but he takes plenty of positives from that unforgettable night also at the Echo Arena
"It was a big experience for me. The fight, the build-up, it was a huge event almost like a pay-per-view one and the whole country was gripped by it. I came close but what happened that night has definitely made me a stronger person.
I'm a student of the game. There were a lot of things right with my performance and my preparation but there were also a lot of things I could've done differently."
A victory over McIntosh could lead the British champion down many a path. A rematch with Cleverly, a European title shot against champion Edward Gutknecht or possibly facing a world ranked contender back at the Echo Arena. For now, all his attention and energy are going into overcoming a dangerous and heavy hitting opponent.
"It's a strong challenge for me," said Bellew
"He's a former European champion and he's someone that I have to take very seriously. I think it's a fight that's the right sort of progression for me and it's a step in the right direction. He's live, he's dangerous and he'll come to win.
He's awkard and has a good jab but I don't think he'll plan on getting too close to me although he might surprise me. Do I think it'll go twelve rounds? No, I'm gonna break his heart," the champion declared.
Bellew is also delighted to see two of the country's leading promoters joining forces for 'The Big Bang.'
"Dave Coldwell is a great promoter and he's working with Eddie Hearn on this which is great. It's fantastic to see promoters working together."
Another Bellew victory will continue the feel good factor around the Liverpool boxing scene. The local amateur and professional ranks continue to flourish with every passing month it seems.
"It's fantastic to see the boxing scene in Liverpool developing the way it is. David Price is massive, he's the future of the heavyweight division and he's going from strength to strength. And there' also the hidden talent such as Joe Selkirk, Nathan Brough and Paul Butler. It's there to see and its no coincidence that Liverpool turns out ABA champions every year. They're all coming to the forefront now. As well as that we have a lot of good trainers in Liverpool too. Plus we still have the Smith brothers as well. We have so much to be proud of and look forward to."
David Coldwell in association with Eddie Hearn present 'The Big Bang' which is live and exclusive on Sky Sports and Sky Sports HD on Saturday, 14th April 2012.
Tickets are priced at £30, £40, £60, £80, VIP tickets £150 and all available from;
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