Sunday night boxing is a rarity in the world, but Eddie Hearn and Matchroom pulled off an amazing feat that ended with a WBC World Champion and the best Cruiserweight in the world.
It was a beautiful evening in Liverpool, which I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing at Goodison Park to be honest. The transformation, was such, that I genuinely thought I was in America or somewhere else where you would usually see a huge outdoor stadium event on TV.
There was talk about it being a mismatch card but it was none stop action, with every fan getting their money’s worth on every fight.
It was mostly a city affair, with all the Smith brothers fighting (none of which knowing how tough their fights would end up), David Price (back to knock out ways), Birkenhead’s Masher Dodd winning his first honours, and a Liverpool vs Manchester affair (Farrell vs Yates), which I have to make a special note on too.
This was the best fight of the night, with both fighters deserving every penny of their purses – and one I would love to see again.
The night belongs to Bellew and his dream, however. The build up was electric, the Goodison faithful were there and they didn’t hold back in support of their man.
The ‘Bomber’, who is one of them, walked out and straight to the place where he had sat watching his beloved blues growing up. And the crowd didn’t disappoint.
The cacophony of noise was deafening and Bellew lapped every minute up.
Bellew came out cautious, using his jab, keeping the distance between the two. Makabu looked relaxed (lazy almost) as he moved about.
Bellew then upped the pressure, throwing heavy shots, moving in with body shots – pushing Makabu into the corner.
Then out of nowhere, Makabu exploded off the ropes and showed why he was a dangerous fighter – and Bellew crashed, rolling over on the canvas.
The power was unbelievable to witness at ringside, and this was a wake up call for Bellew. Luckily for him the round ended.
Though he didn’t look hurt, it was a heavy shot and the momentum could have gone against the Liverpool man on another day.
The second started again with Bellew cautiously feeling his man out, getting the jab working.
Makabu this time didn’t look as relaxed, he looked heavy legged. Bellew started working in the body shots, which had Makabu backed up.
That’s when Bellew started the onslaught.
Punch after punch rained down on Makabu, with the left hook coming across and knocking him unconscious, forcing the referee to jump between the two with Bellew dropping to his knees crying, realizing that his dream of world honours had happened and what a place for it to happen for him – the home of his heroes.
There was some concern for Makabu as he was out cold, but he came around and was in good health, and Bellew was able to console him and celebrate his win without any issues overshadowing it.
As usual with Bellew press conferences, it was a colourful affair, with the man of the hour not holding back when stating firmly:
“I am the best Cruiserweight on the planet.”
He called out everyone in the division, and also included David Haye stating:
“He’s no heavyweight. That nugget he fought, I would of done him in 5 seconds.”
Bellew also said:
“I only want unification fights now, and no soft defence. I want to be the unified champion by the end of the year.”
The rest from Tony is too extreme to write. His promoter Eddie Hearn stated that they would be looking at unification fights now, with Lebedev being their top target:
“We don’t know how the cruiserweight division is as we don’t have much dealing with it, it’s going to be interesting how it works out.”
Liverpool has a world champion, Great Britain now incredibly has 14.
Bellew will enjoy a rest, but great fights are just around the corner with many possible unification fights. What a night. What a show.
Once again British boxing is flying high.
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