Former WBC cruiserweight champion, Tony Bellew, believes a British heavyweight froze on the biggest night of his life.
The fighter turned pundit joined Simon Jordan on his ‘Up Front’ podcast discussing the current landscape of the heavyweight division.
Bellew noted how current WBC champion, Tyson Fury’s, style has changed under new trainer SugarHill Steward from being ‘awkward, slippery, big and quick’ to ‘an aggressive, front foot counter punching heavy hitter’. The Liverpudlian thinks this makes him more susceptible to getting beat.
Following that thinking, Bellew made no secret of the fact he expected Dillian Whyte to give Fury a hard night’s work when the pair fought last year, but claims ‘The Body Snatcher’ froze under the bright lights.
“Fury’s style has changed. I made a bit of a thing as I thought Dillian Whyte would cause him problems, but he didn’t meet Dillian head on did he, he didn’t meet him head on [because he didn’t have to].
Dillian froze. Dillian would be a hard nights work for any other heavyweight in the world but he wasn’t for Tyson because he froze and he didn’t look right at all.”
Whyte had patiently waited for a shot at the title, having been the WBC’s number one ranked heavyweight for 1,634 days when he finally got his chance. This was, though, interrupted by a knockout defeat to Alexander Povetkin for which he had to take a detour to avenge.
When he got his shot at Fury, the public bought into the hype, with 94,000 in attendance at London’s Wembley stadium – unfortunately the fight didn’t live up to the expectations. Fury dominated at range from the opening bell and closed the show with a vicious uppercut in the sixth round.
Whyte made his return with a close fought victory over American Jermaine Franklin, and is now the frontrunner to face old foe Anthony Joshua in the summer.