Former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew has told of a trick that he used in his fight with Ilunga Makabu, when the Evertonian won the world title at his beloved Goodison Park.
‘The Bomber’ was describing his title fight on the Winners Talking Podcast, when he explained how he negated a defensive counterpart.
It wasn’t all plain sailing in what was a dream fight for Bellew. He was knocked down early, but bounced back to stop Makabu in round three. After hurting his Congolese dance partner, he was faced with an opponent who was looking to survive and soak up pressure by covering up, but Bellew explained how a simple ‘trick’ managed to infiltrate his strong guard.
“I kept pulling his hand down. He’s really good at just doing this [covering up], so I pulled the left hand off his face and smashed him with a right hook. You’ve got to do it all in one motion, fighters don’t do it enough these days, the young kids, pull it down and as you pull you smash [with the right hook].
Everyone thinks that in boxing if you just do this [cover up], you’re safe, well you are, if people don’t do the trick I’ve just showed you. Pull the glove down and smash at the same time.”
Bellew went on to achieve back-to-back victories over rival David Haye, before challenging for the undisputed title against current heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and then retiring after a valiant but unsuccessful attempt.
He has also starred in the Creed movie series, playing ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan and will appear in the latest installation, Creed III, which is out in cinemas on March 3rd (UK).
Meanwhile, Makabu continues to fight in the cruiserweight division, having won the WBC title in January 2020, a belt he has since defended just twice.