Posts Tagged ‘Tony Bellew’

 

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Tony Bellew delivered on his rematch promise to defeat David Haye quicker by putting on a counter-punch clinic with three knockdowns for a dominant fifth round TKO.

Haye carried the first two rounds by keeping distance and landing long jabs and straight rights. But when the fight went inside, Bellew’s sharper technique took over by forcing Haye to¬†exchange. He dropped the former heavyweight title-holder twice in the third with counter right hands. On the second knockdown, Haye grimaced in pain and held his right ankle. Despite this, Haye had enough of his bearings to move and survive the round.

Haye was evasive enough to make it through the fourth¬†but looked perilously close to being stopped any time Bellew attacked. The Hayemaker punch to turn the bout around wasn’t there due to Haye’s poor balance. In the fifth, he threw a wide left hook that put him in line for Bellew to deliver a compact, textbook left hook of his own, resulting¬†in¬† Haye careening face-first to the canvas.

Haye beat the count but couldn’t mount a strong defense, prompting the referee stoppage. Afterward, Haye offered no excuses and dismissed the speculation he was injured in round three. Although the 37-year old Haye wouldn’t commit to retiring, Bellew said he hoped his rival would call it quits.

“This is a young man’s game. I told the referee after the third to stop the fight,” said Bellew. “The only reason I gave him a chance in the fourth was because he’s so heavy-handed. I hope he makes a (retirement) announcement in the next few days.”

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Haye’s been on borrowed time for years. The explosive athleticism that defined his cruiserweight and early heavyweight run have completely eroded from injuries. He’s still in good shape, but the added weight from age and muscle makes him lethargic and predictable in the ring. There is absolutely no reason for him to continue on at 37.

As for Bellew, his domestic star is bright. He called out a myriad of opponents but sounded most interested in luring Andre Ward out of retirement. If Ward isn’t swayed by the possibility¬†of a high-level UK fight, Bellew has a few other opens at heavyweight (Fury, Whyte) and cruiser (Usyk-Gassiev winner) to keep him occupied. Not bad for a 35-year old looking to close out a career on favorable terms.

 

 

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LIVERPOOL — Tony Bellew was dominant on Saturday in dispatching BJ Flores in three rounds to retain his WBC cruiserweight title.

Bellew played the role of counter-puncher while Flores was the stalking aggressor. In the first round, Flores was able to capitalize and catch the champion with wide right hands.

The momentum turned suddenly when a Bellew counter left strayed low. Flores turned to complain to the referee about the non-call, allowing Bellew to pounce with hooks for the first knockdown.

An enraged Flores pressed Bellew for the rest of the round as both men were stunned with haymakers. The American challenger would get the worst of the damage as Bellew’s better accuracy put Flores down twice more to conclude the round.

Flores would futilely attempt to drag Bellew into a brawl in round three. But the champion remained calm and moved away to create space when needed. A short exchange resulted in Flores crumbling to his knees from a left hook counter. The challenger was not up fully at the count of 10 and did not protest the referee stoppage.

The real fun happened seconds afterward with Bellew storming from the ring to confront David Haye. Did Bellew sell this potential fight for you?


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QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC — Light-heavyweight champions Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev handled business last night with their respective knockouts over solid contenders Tony Bellew and Ismayl Sillakh¬†at the¬†Colisee de Quebec. HBO has made it clear that excitement will be rewarded on their network and both champs proved their careers are worth investing into for 2014, most logically being a unification match.

But like most things in boxing, there are factors that can delay the fight, most notably the “options” that Stevenson made clear in his psot-fight interview. First, left’s recap the evening that has made Stevenson vs. Kovalev one of boxing’s anticipated 2014 fights.

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THE KRUSHING OF A BLACK RUSSIAN: Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev made easy work of Ismayl Sillak, needing just two rounds to separate¬†the “Black Russian” from his senses with a few well-placed left hands and straight rights. Sillakh had the right idea coming out — he used his legs to circle and counter Kovalev’s slower hands with straight right counters and snapping jabs. Kovalev quickly adjusted by popping his jab to the body, making Sillakh hesitate just enough regarding where the punches were coming next. This allowed Kovalev to get inside, where the two clashed together roughly in several exchanges. The last one saw Kovalev snap Sillakh’s head back with a short left that bloodied his nose and put him on the floor.

Sillakh was out of it as he got to his feet, but that didn’t stop Kovalev from taunting him before landing the merciless coup de grace — a lead straight right followed by two lefts that deposited Sillakh, and his potential career as an elite fighter on the light-heavyweight division, motionless on the canvas.

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Anyone that’s seen Sillakh fight before last night knows he’s a talented fighter. The problem is his durability and it’s very hard for any fighter to prosper at the elite level when you have issues taking big shots, let alone a division like light-heavyweight that’s stacked with heavy-handed punches. From their body language, you could see Kovalev had all the confidence in the world knowing that his opponent’s glaring weakness happened to be one his greatest strengths. In addition, you could see Kovalev relished destroying a fighter from his region that received much more hype over the last few years than himself. At 28, I don’t see Sillakh hanging them up, but he should remain at the Friday Night Fights level for the foreseeable future if his team has any hopes of salvaging his confidence.

“THE DWARF KNOCKED HIM OUT!”: Tony Bellew probably has a whole new respect for little people after getting bludgeoned with straight lefts in route to a sixth round stoppage defeat to WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. Referring the division’s linear champ as “dwarf” and promising to overhwhelm him, it was Bellew who couldn’t handle the power nor speed of Stevenson’s money punch.

Bellew at times showed good defense in making Stevenson lunge after him, but the UK challenger was not fluid enough on offense to make the champ pay when he missed. Bellew’s shining mopment was in the fifth when a cuffing shot towards the back of the head in an exchange caused Stevenson to go toppling towards the canvas. Although ruled a slip, an emboldened¬†Bellew pressed the fight and threw some solid hooks, but quickly backed off after eating a left cross and realizing Stevenson wasn’t hurt.

From that moment, Stevenson turned predator and took the fight right at Bellew, firing repeated lefts that cracked the challenger in the center of his face. A short left inside provided the first knockdown. Bellew rose, but soon found himself helpless on the ropes when two more left hands barreled into his skull. Referee Michael Griffin did an excellent job jumping in to prevent another damaging blow.

Afterward, all Bellew had left was his pride, seen when he refused to stay seated on his stool for evaluation after the bout’s conclusion.

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KOVALEV NEXT? NOT IF STEVENSON HAS HIS WAY: When asked in his pot-fight interview who he wanted next, Stevenson didn’t rule out Kovalev if “HBO put up the money,” but he made it clear he had two options he preferred over the Krusher.

I don’t have a problem if HBO put up the money. But the fans of Quebec City want Bernard Hopkins or Carl Froch. The fans know them. Pascal and Bute were defeated. But if the money is right [for Kovalev], no problem.

Stevenson is no fool. He knows that Kovalev, a fellow devastating puncher, is the biggest threat to his light-heavyweight crown. Froch is a big fight, but he’d be moving up in weight and from how we saw the 36-year-old struggle with the speed and power of young George Groves, it’s not a stretch to imagine Black Superman being the first fighter to stop the Cobra. Hopkins, ancient master that he is, did good business in Canada with his two Pascal fights. However, B-Hop also struggled mightily with the last speedy southpaw he faced in Chad Dawson. These two represent two lucrative but very winnable fights for Stevenson.

Lucky for us, HBO likely shows the money and makes this fight happen. Last thing they need is Stevenson, who’s made his American name on their airwaves, heading over to Showtime to fight Hopkins. And Froch likely doesn’t fancy a fight like this when he can make much more money possibly filling up Wembley Stadium handling unfinished business with Saint Groves.

So who takes it? A win by neither would be surprising. Although 30, Kovalev has really just stepped up his competition in January. Before then, he was fighting mostly journeyman and overmatched fighters. He’s shown a better variety of punches, legit power in both hands, and adjusting strategies in the ring than Stevenson, but his chin is still a question. Stevenson’s competition has been better, but it remains to be seen if his speed can overcome Kovalev’s better timing. It’s a highly intriguing fight that needs to happen. If forced to choose an early favorite, put me in Kovalev’s camp.

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC — Yesterday’s weigh-in for HBO’s light-heavyweight championship double-header is in the books with all four fighters make weight without difficulty. Below are pictures from the weigh-in along with predictions on what should be an explosive night of combat at the¬†Colis√©e Pepsi. The card airs tonight at 10:15 p.m.

 

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

TONY BELLEW: 175 LBS.

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

ADONIS STEVENSON: 174.4 LBS.

PREDICTION: If an upset happens, it’ll likely be in this fight. Bellew is coming in as the challenger but doesn’t view himself in that light from his statements over the last few weeks. Bellew has been adamant that he’ll not only bring the fight to Stevenson, but he’ll overwhelm him and score multiple knockdowns in the process.

Bellew has the skills to do it. He has solid power and works the body well, particularly when he’s able to get inside. Like the champion Stevenson, Bellew doesn’t shy away from exchanges. The deciding factors tonight will likely be two things: speed and power. Although both Bellew and Stevenson can be caught due to their tendency at times to throw wide, looping shots, Stevenson has the faster hands plus more power. When it comes down to who’ll land first (and harder), more often than not it’ll be Stevenson. Bellew will be bringing the fight and possibly might be ahead when it happens, but eventually his aggression will work against him with Bellew running into a big left hand and getting dropped. STEVENSON TKO7 BELLEW

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HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

ISMAYL SILLAKH: 174.4 LBS

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

SERGEY KOVALEV: 174.6

PREDICTION: Sillakh has been MIA on American TV since his shocking TKO upset loss to Denis Grachev back in April 2012. While his stock as the “most feared man in the light-heavyweight division” plummeted, WBO titlist Sergey Kovalev essentially slid right into that spot courtesy of his KO wins over Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White and Nathan Cleverly. That rep got further solidified by Adonis Stevenson, who’s made it clear that he doesn’t fancy facing Kovalev anytime soon.

With his length and punching power, Sillakh can make this fight interesting if he can somehow get Kovalev’s respect early. In addition, Sillakh has decent speed and is adept at countering. Kovalev starts extremely fast (having not gone past 4 rounds in the last 2 years), so he’ll be putting heavy pressure on Sillakh early on. And considering the issues with Sillakh’s chin, I don’t think his defense nor durability will be enough to withstand the Krusher’s offense. KOVALEV TKO4 SILLAKH

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The light-heavyweight division will once again take center stage on HBO with the confirmation of a November 30 championship double-header featuring Adonis Stevenson vs. Tony Bellew and Sergey Kovalev vs. Ismayl Sillakh.

Stevenson has had a breakout 2013, having picked up the WBC light-heavyweight crown in a one-round blowout of Chad Dawson in June, and dominating Tavoris Cloud to a seventh round corner stoppage last month. The November 30 date will mark his third HBO appearance in five months. Bellew, who earned his shot with back to back wins over Isaac Chilemba in March and May, will be making his first U.S. and HBO appearance.

Sergey Kovalev is making the first defense of the WBO light-heavyweight strap that he lifted via a fourth TKO of previously undefeated Nathan Cleverly in August. Considered by many the most feared puncher in the division, Kovalev will be facing a fighter in Ismayl Sillakh who was held in similar regard until an upset TKO loss to Denis Grachev lst year. Since that defeat, Sillakh was won four straight with three coming via stoppages in six rounds or less.

The card will take place at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City and airing in the U.S. as a HBO “Boxing After Dark” card at 10:15 p.m.

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HBO is not playing about their “Epic Fall Boxing Schedule” tagline. Obviously, the goal is a unification matchup between Stevenson and Kovalev. What’s intriguing is that the two champs aren’t being given easy “setup” fights so they can look good heading into 2014. Bellew¬†and Sillakh¬†are tough challengers to the point upsets are not out of the question. Bellew¬†proved his toughness and ability to adjust in the Chilemba¬†bouts, and Sillakh¬†has the technical boxing skill, not to the mention the range and power, to give Kovalev looks he hasn’t seen before.

Kudos to HBO for making this happen and really investing in the 175 pound division. Their work over the last few months has made Hopkins’ IBF¬†title defense against Karo Murat seem like an afterthought.