Tony Bellew says former ring foe Ilunga Makabu will have to make a fast start if he is to beat pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez. 

The WBC officially approved Alvarez’s request to jump up to cruiserweight to take on WBC king Makabu during their recent WBC Convention in Mexico.

Bellew, who previously held Makabu’s WBC cruiserweight title after stopping the Congo native in three rounds back in 2016, says his former opponent cannot afford a slow opening few rounds against Alvarez.

“Makabu likes to have a look and that’s why I tried to jump on him in our fight,” Bellew told DAZN. “He’s very relaxed in the early rounds because he wants to have a proper look at what’s in front of him then go to work in the later rounds. 

“I wasn’t going to give him that opportunity and that’s why I started as quick as I did. Makabu has a high guard and dangerous left hand and he has to get that into play from the first bell. Canelo is going to come in heavy so he could lose some of what makes him special but Makabu will still be the bigger man and he has to make that count. 

“His size can be a big asset but he has to use it from the moment the fight starts otherwise he’ll be playing catch up against the best fighter in the sport.”