Tony Bellew

Tony Bellew takes on Oleksandr Usyk for all four world cruiserweight titles on 10 November. It is - he says - "probably" the last bout of his career. So in his latest column, he talked BBC Sport through the seven photographs which illustrate a remarkable boxing journey.

'Chasing a different kind of dream'

Tony Bellew

Bellew (left) with brothers Craig, Westley and Liam at their Liverpool home.

The little fatty on the left - me - had eyes on playing for Everton Football Club rather than fighting in the ring.

I knew about boxing as my dad could fight. He had a successful security firm in Liverpool and I'd see him come back from a jog before shadow boxing in the back yard. I'd watch and replicate what he was doing, as kids do. It's funny how things turn out.

This, at about nine or 10, was when I'd say my life was forming. My dad left, my oldest brother was about to move out and so the family was evolving.

Every spare second away from school was spent at youth clubs with mates. When my family changed, friends became my family and I had a group of 8-10 mates I still speak to now.

Back then, between getting clips around the ear for pestering my older brothers, I was chasing my dreams. Football dreams that is.

'It was all to impress my dad'

From those early years, everything I have done or become was to try to impress my dad.

I was going to work on nightclub doors with him at 16 purely to impress him, to show him I could be like him. I was a big boy but had the face of a fat child.

I remember being asked to guard a DJ box at a club and Paul Ince, the former Liverpool player, and his mates were dancing around by me so I had to keep them in check.

This photo is fitting as in every moment I've had in competition since the age of 15, dad has been by my side, my greatest supporter. I guess it's rare but even though I come from a broken home, I still believe I have the most amazing father.

If I wasn't training or working I'd go with him to his office and watch him work. I am so proud of him for how hard he grafted having come from very little.

I am so thankful to be able to say all my dad does now is tell people about me. It wasn't easy, he always pushed and believed I could do more, more, more. That can be hard to follow but thankfully I have used his faith and proven him right.

How to drag 4lbs out...

Tony Bellew

Tony Bellew with 5lbs to go to make his 12st 7lbs limit and training with Carl Froch (right).

I've put 16lbs on in 24 hours between weigh-in and fight. I know someone who has added 26lbs.

These images really showcase an opponent like no other, one I faced time and again - the weight cut I had in making 12st 7lbs at light-heavyweight. That's three stone lighter as a 30-year-old man than I was at the age of 15.

In the image on the left I still had 5lbs to go. Where did I lose it from? I don't know.

Before I fought Adonis Stevenson in 2013 I had 4lbs to shift in a morning before weighing in. I had zero energy left to train, so the nutritional adviser said the only way was to drag it from my body in a hot bath full of salts.

I can remember getting in, it was so hot it was burning me. I watched stand-up comedy - it was Kevin Hart - on my iPad. I'd laugh and then seconds later be crying. I honestly thought I was having some kind of breakdown.

Often I'd stop and think 'what am I doing?' I was chasing a dream no-one else could see and you'll always look like a lunatic until you achieve it.

It's absolutely crazy when I look back at what I used to do to my body but it formed years of my life which helped get me to where I am now. Still though, I look at these images and wonder how that bag of bones is me.

'My dad beat Creed'

Tony Bellew

Bellew starred alongside Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan in Creed.

Getting into character to become 'Pretty' Ricky Conlan for the Creed film was surreal. To this day, my youngest son Carter watches the film and thinks it's the only fight I've actually had. It's not 'my dad beat David Haye', it's 'my dad beat Creed'.

I thought the phone call proposing the role was a joke and told the guy on the other end I wasn't in the mood for a wind-up as I'd just watched Everton get hammered. That day changed my life in some ways though.

Everything I was earning at this stage of my career I was re-investing in property, believing that would go right for me. I always wanted the flashy things - the Rolls-Royce or a posh watch - but I would never live beyond my means. Even now the money is there I still can't bring myself to splurge on those things.

Tony Bellew

Bellew says Sylvester Stallone guided him throughout the filming of Creed.

Creed helped massively financially and there were spin-offs, though I still can't believe that part of my life happened.

The film set opened my eyes, mainly the time it takes to do anything. All you're waiting to hear at the end of the day is 'check the gate' as when you hear those words from a director they mean you're very close to it.

When I got home I regretted doing the movie but when I saw the way it turned out on screen I was so, so impressed and my boys love it.

'That's enough now son, stop'

Tony Bellew

Bellew with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and with the WBC world cruiserweight title in the Goodison Park changing rooms.

Hugging Bill Kenwright after the greatest night of my career will stay with me. I was just so happy I could share it with him. The Everton chairman had a big role in my career.

He made my night at Goodison Park - where I beat Ilunga Makabu to win the WBC world cruiserweight title - happen.
I owe him a massive debt. When we last spoke he said: "That's enough now son, stop."

During my career, I had access to Everton's training complex to do strength and conditioning work with trainer Dave Billows. Ten years on from linking up, Billows is still training me.

Not many outfits in the Premier League would help like that. I can recall often sitting in an ice bath and the former Everton striker Yakubu would just come in, look at me and say: "You are crazy."

I try to speak to Mr Kenwright regularly and once this career is over will continue to do so. A while back he said to me: "Let's do Goodison Park again son. It'll be massive - bigger than last time."

I just say: "No, I never want to go back." It was the night the dream came true and I don't ever want to tarnish it. But the chairman is just someone I love - just a really, really good person.

'She rejected me three times'

Tony Bellew

Bellew with wife Rachael and children Corey, Cobey and Carter.

I've known Rachael since she was nine but was 18 when I met her - I was working on a nightclub door and saw her waiting to come in. I thought 'wow, she's changed'.

I tried to chat to her but got rejected. A week later I was out with friends, saw her, and tried again, only to get another 'no'. Weeks later I tried again, telling her I only wanted to take her to the pictures, and she said 'no' but went away and did some research on me.

She put up with all the nonsense of me telling her I'd be world champion. I was representing my country at the time, travelling and earning £350 a week.

The minute she got pregnant I identified I couldn't earn money doing door work, I had to do things a grown-up way.
So I turned professional and lost money for two years because of injury. Putting it bluntly, I was broke.

After 16 professional fights, I was British champion, had just lost a world-title shot narrowly and was skint.

I don't know if it's luck, fortune or what, but it's worked out. All I have learned is to believe in yourself.

Rachael and the kids - Corey, Cobey and Carter - mean the world and more to me. They are the focus now as I contemplate calling time. It's satisfying to see how it worked out and soon I'll be able to be a totally normal dad.

information taken from the BBC site

Ryan Burnett

Ryan Burnett dropped to the canvas in the fourth round.

Ryan Burnett was forced to surrender his WBA bantamweight title after sustaining a fight-ending back injury during his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final against Nonito Donaire.

The Belfast fighter, 26, was not able to punch with his right hand during the fourth round, after which he retired.

Victory in Glasgow gave Donaire, 35, the WBA and vacant WBC diamond belt.

The Filipino four-weight world champion will face South African WBO title-holder Zolani Tete in the semi-finals.

After the third round, Burnett could be heard telling trainer Adam Booth: "I cannot move it. I cannot throw a shot."

He dropped to his knees in the next round after attempting to throw a punch, and pulled out of the fight at its conclusion.

Fans denied a close encounter.

Ryan Burnett

Burnett needed medical attention before leaving the ring on a stretcher.

Burnett shaded the early rounds against an opponent who had not fought at 118lb for seven years.

Confident in his own upper-body movement, Burnett appeared unperturbed when cornered by Donaire and landed successful shots with consecutive left-right combinations.

The veteran Filipino, whose last fight ended in defeat by Burnett's compatriot Carl Frampton, enjoyed the better of a third round which did enough to suggest the crowd were in for a close contest.

Donaire, clearly the bigger man at bantamweight, walked down his opponent at every opportunity while Burnett, without a knockout in his past seven wins, seemed content to operate on the back foot while landing stylish combinations.

'Not the way I would like to win'.

Donaire

Donaire last fought at bantamweight in 2011.

Unable to answer the bell for the fifth, Burnett was treated in the ring before leaving the SSE Hydro on a stretcher.

"As a warrior and as a fighter, Burnett is an amazing fighter," said Donaire, who immediately moved to comfort his opponent after the fight was ended.

"Early on he just kept coming at me. A win is a win and it wasn't the way I would like to win but he's an amazing fighter."

Despite entering the WBSS as number one seed in the bantamweight competition, Burnett has not only lost his existing world title but also the opportunity to become undisputed world champion, a title which will be bestowed upon the winner of the Ali Trophy.

Donaire held the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles in 2011 before eventually vacating the titles in favour of a move up to 122lb.

He will face Tete, who defeated Russian Mikhail Aloyan in their quarter-final last month, early next year.

'So sad for Ryan' - reaction.

Former world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew: "So sad to see Ryan Burnett leaving the ring like that. Donaire is a proper gentleman and a great fighter who wouldn't want to win like that. I just wish and hope for a speedy recovery for Ryan."

Bellew's trainer Dave Coldwell: "Really hope this isn't a career-threatening injury for Ryan."

Former British light-heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni: "Gutted for Burnett. He was looking fantastic. Sad ending to a great fight. Donaire showing real class with his compassion and lack of celebration."

information taken from the BBC site

Floyd Mayweather v Khabib Nurmagomedov

Dana White (centre) wants Floyd Mayweather to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in a mixed martial arts bout.

Boxer Floyd Mayweather should step into the octagon to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in a "real fight", says UFC president Dana White.

UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov has suggested he could follow in Conor McGregor's footsteps and try boxing, with Mayweather encouraging the bout.

But White wants to see the fight happen in a mixed martial arts arena.

"Listen, if Mayweather wants to fight, come fight. You fight in the UFC," White told TMZ.

"We're not boxing again. We did that once, that's over. You want to fight? You come fight - a real fight."

Nurmagomedov and Mayweather's exchange began with the Russian calling out the former five-weight world champion after defeating McGregor on the Irishman's return to UFC earlier this month.

Mayweather beat McGregor himself in August 2017 in a fight that generated more than £450m and earned the 41-year-old American £210m.

The boxer told Nurmagomedov to "come into my world", with the 30-year-old responding by saying he was keen for the bout to happen in Moscow.

Nurmagomedov is currently serving a ban issued by the Nevada State Athletic Commission as it investigates the brawl that followed his world title win over McGregor.

And UFC president White says he should face American lightweight Tony Ferguson on his return.

"Tony Ferguson is the right fight," he added. "It's the fight to make. It obviously depends on the suspension and what happens - we'll see."

information taken from the BBC site

Whyte v Chisora

Whyte (left) beat Chisora in an epic bout in 2016.

British heavyweights Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora will fight at London's O2 Arena on 22 December, two years after a brutal first encounter.

The pair contested one of the most eye-catching bouts of 2016, with Whyte narrowly taking a split-decision win.

"This will be Chisora's last fight, the donkey's last ride," said Whyte, 30.

"I think that he needs to really have a good think about taking this fight. I believe that I'll knock him out in devastating fashion this time."

Whyte has picked up four wins since his points win over Chisora, notably against former WBO world champion Joseph Parker in July.

On the same card Chisora, 34, ensured he remained among the division's elite with a stunning win over Carlos Takam.

Trailing on points, Chisora produced an eighth-round stoppage win that breathed life into his career. He has since signed a deal to be managed by former heavyweight world champion David Haye and insists he will add focus to his boxing.

"I'm not messing, I'm not playing at boxing," said Chisora, who has 29 wins and eight defeats. "Dillian has spent the last two years avoiding getting back in the ring with me.

"I will be stepping in the ring a different fighter. I have everything to prove and it all to lose."

December's pay-per-view clash...

Whyte v Chisora

Dereck Chisora throws table at Dillian Whyte at news conference.

December's bout will do well to live up to the first encounter. Both men looked vulnerable during a contest that came off the back of Chisora throwing a table at his rival during a news conference.

The bout will be shown on pay-per-view television and takes place on the same night as Josh Warrington's IBF world featherweight title defence against Carl Frampton in Manchester, an event that is likewise not free to air.

It will mean Whyte-Chisora - promoted by Eddie Hearn - will clash with Warrington-Frampton, which is promoted by Frank Warren.

Hearn said: "The first fight was one of the best heavyweight fights we have ever seen and I believe the rematch can eclipse even that.

"Both fighters enter this fight in their best form ever with everything on the line. We are guaranteed an absolute war."

London fighter Whyte is highly ranked but a shot at a world title has eluded him with Anthony Joshua forced to defend his titles against Alexander Povetkin in September, and WBC champion Deontay Wilder tied into a lucrative bout with Tyson Fury on 1 December.

Joshua inflicted the only defeat of Whyte's 25-fight career in 2015.

Should Whyte beat Chisora for a second time, his name is likely to feature prominently on the list of prospective opponents for Joshua, who has Wembley Stadium booked for 13 April but is without an opponent.

information taken from the BBC site

Hughie Fury

Hughie Fury has now lost two of his past three fights on points.

Hughie Fury's hopes of a title fight against unbeaten world champion Anthony Joshua were quashed as Kubrat Pulev won their IBF final eliminator in Bulgaria.

Briton Fury, 24, suffered a badly cut left eye in round two and home fighter Pulev, in his first bout for 18 months, won by unanimous points decision.

The judges returned a verdict of 117-111, 118-110, 115-113 in Sofia.

In London, John Ryder beat Andrey Sirotkin in a WBA super-middleweight world title eliminator.

Briton Ryder, 30, got the better of an even contest, raising the tempo when it mattered to stop 33-year-old Russian Sirotkin in the seventh round.

Also in London, Ted Cheeseman beat Asinia Byfield by a unanimous decision for the vacant British super-welterweight belt.

Unbeaten Cheeseman, 23, floored Byfield with a right in the fifth round and it needed impressive resilience from the 29-year-old to take it to the full 12 rounds.

The judges scored it 117-110 and 117-111 twice to confirm the Reading fighter's second defeat.

In New York, Daniel Jacobs claimed the vacant IBF middleweight belt with a split decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who he shares a manager and trainer with.

American Jacobs edged the card after 12 rounds - the judges marking the fight 113-114, 115-112, 115-112 in his favour.

The victory makes Jacobs the leading contender for Canelo Alvarez's first defence of the WBC and WBA world middleweight titles he won against Gennady Golovkin in September.

Also in the United States, British fighter Terry Flanagan lost to home crowd favourite Regis Prograis in New Orleans.

Prograis produced an assured display to beat Manchester's Flanagan on points - 119-108, 118-109, 117-110 - and book his place in the last four of the World Boxing Super Series.

information taken from the BBC site

Page 6 of 45

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