Former WBC cruiserweight world champion, Tony Bellew, has criticised American trainers for falsely praising fighters who “aren’t that good at all”.
The proud Evertonian told of his experiences in training camps in North America, where he didn’t seem to rate either the fighters or trainers in the States.
Bellew won his world title in spectacular fashion, defeating Ilunga Makabu by third round knockout at his beloved Goodison Park, home to Everton Football Club. ‘The Bomber’ then went on to form a historic rivalry with David Haye, whom he also knocked out, in 2017, as well as in the rematch in 2018.
In an interview with talkSPORT Boxing, Bellew described his underwhelming experiences of training across the pond and the arrogance of relatively average American boxers.
“I don’t get the big clamour to America for the coaches, I’m not saying they’re not good coaches because they’ve got some brilliant coaches but no better than we have here [in the UK].
I have done camps in the U.S.A, I have lived for weeks and months at a time in New York, going all around the gyms and working with different trainers, seeing how they use things. They don’t know any more than us [British fighters/trainers] and if anything, they blow a whole lot more smoke than us, that is all they do, they just blow smoke up people’s backsides and they just tell you that you’re great.
You go in the [American] gym and you would think that you are talking to about fifteen world champions and you soon realise and understand, once you get in the ring, ain’t one of them a world champion. But they all talk, and they all walk, and they all carry themselves like world champions. It is only until the punches start getting thrown and the leather gets exchanged, that you find out that they aren’t that good at all.”
The most high profile British boxer to make the switch recently has been Anthony Joshua. ‘AJ’ teamed up with Robert Garcia for his unsuccessful rematch with Usyk and has now switched again to Derrick James in the hope it’ll reignite his career and get him back to the top of the heavyweight division.
Now that Bellew has retired from boxing, he has begun a new rivalry with an American fighter, albeit a fictional one. Bellew has been starring as ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan, nemesis of Adonis Creed, in the popular ‘Creed’ movie franchise, with a third instalment releasing on March 3rd.