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
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:
Super middleweight: JAMES DEGALE Lightweight:
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