Bomber’s win gives hope to UK box­ers

It is hoped that a new era has be­gun for Bri­tish box­ers as they set their sights on World Box­ing Coun­cil ti­tles, writes Pule Mokhine

CityPress - - Sport -

Has Tony “Bomber” Bellew’s breath­tak­ing cap­ture of the va­cant World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) cruis­er­weight ti­tle sig­nalled the awak­en­ing for UK box­ers as they make in­roads into the most pow­er­ful box­ing body?

The Liver­pool-based Bellew brought back glory days to the UK by win­ning the WBC crown when he knocked out Con­golese Ilunga Mak­abu in the third round at Good­i­son Park Sta­dium in Mersey­side last Sun­day.

Fight­ing be­fore a vo­cif­er­ous crowd of fel­low Ever­ton FC sup­port­ers, Bellew poleaxed Mak­abu, send­ing him to sleep and re­sult­ing in the fight be­ing stopped.

Bri­tain has not had a WBC cham­pion in a long time and Bellew’s cap­ture of the di­a­dem is viewed as the dawn of a new era for Bri­tish fight­ers. Glen Cat­ley held the su­per mid­dleweight cham­pi­onship, which he sur­ren­dered to Din­gaan “The Rose” Tho­bela in a sixth-round knock­out at Car­ni­val City in 2000.

In 1996, Nigel Benn was re­lieved of the same cham­pi­onship belt (su­per mid­dleweight) by Thu­lani “Su­gar­boy” Malinga via a split­points de­ci­sion in the 12th round at Telewest Arena, New­cas­tle.

Since then, Bri­tish box­ers have won ti­tles in other world bodies.

But lift­ing the WBC belt has been a tough task to ac­com­plish. And Bellew’s reign as WBC king brings pride to the UK and sig­nals great tid­ings for Bri­tish box­ing.

A look at the records re­flects that there have been UK pugilists who reigned supreme as undis­puted world ti­tle­hold­ers in the past (see graphic).

Mean­while, Bellew has con­tin­ued his war of words with coun­try­man David “Hay­maker” Haye, and told him to “man up” and meet him in the ring.

Haye holds the World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion in­ter­na­tional heavy­weight cham­pi­onship.

“Lis­ten, I am 100% se­ri­ous when I say what I say. It is quite sim­ple; we can do it any­time.

“I am now the best cruis­er­weight in the world. You are the for­mer best cruis­er­weight in the world. So let’s meet some­where in the mid­dle,” Bellew told Mail On­line. Heavy­weight:

TYSON FURY

Light­weight:

AN­THONY CROLLA

Su­per mid­dleweight: JAMES DEGALE Light­weight:

TERRY FLANAGAN

Mid­dleweight:

BILLY JOE SAUN­DERS

(WBO) Ban­tamweight: JAMIE MCDONNEL Su­per wel­ter­weight: LIAM SMITH (WBO) Ban­tamweight: LEE HASKINS (IBF)

List of UK’s undis­puted global cham­pi­onship hold­ers Novem­ber 13 1999 to April 29 2000 Septem­ber 27 1986 to Oc­to­ber 28 1987 Cur­rent king­pins of dif­fer­ent sanc­tion­ing bodies Heavy­weight: AN­THONY JOSHUA (IBF) Wel­ter­weight: KELL BROOK (IBF) (WBO) (WBA) (IBF) March 16 1980 to Septem­ber 25 1980 (WBO) Fe­bru­ary 12 1971 to June 25 1971 (WBA) THINK­ING OUT­SIDE THE BOX Jan Bergman keeps an eye on his charge, Wel­come Nt­shingila, as he trains at the gym in Eden­vale on the East Rand

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