Tony Bellew battles Ilunga Makabu for vacant cruiserweight crown at Goodison Park
Lee Gormley | May 27, 2016
Tony Bellew v Ilunga Makabu
- Vacant WBC cruiserweight title fight
- Sunday, May 29th
- Scheduled for: 22:00 BST
- Goodison Park, Liverpool
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Bellew battles Makabu at Goodison Park
Liverpool’s Tony Bellew will take to the ring this Sunday night aiming to capture the vacant WBC cruiserweight title in his own backyard, when he faces dangerous Congolese southpaw Ilunga Makubu at Goodison Park, home of his supported club Everton.
‘The Bomber’ overcame Poland’s Mateusz Masternak at the O2 Arena last December and is on a run of six consecutive victories since moving up to 200 pounds, after losing to current WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson in 2013.
Before outpointing Masternak on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world title fight last year, Bellew (26-2-1, 16 KOs) also stopped both Croatian Ivica Bacurin and Latvian challenger Arturs Kulikauskis in 2015, and the 33-year-old is 11/2 with Coral to knockout Makubu (19-1, 18 KOs) this weekend.
‘Bomber’ aims to complete lifetime work
Bellew recently starred in the ‘Rocky’ movie spin-off ‘Creed’ alongside fellow professional fighters Andre Ward and Gabriel Rosado, in which his scenes were shot at Goodison Park, but the Merseysider will fight there for real this bank holiday weekend with hopes of completing a lifetime’s work.
“It’s been a long process and it’s time to fight now,” stated the Dave Coldwell trained Liverpudlian. “There isn’t much left to say. He told me it’s not a movie and believe you me, I know it’s not a movie. The places I’m willing to go.
“Real blood, real sweat and real tears get shed in real life. I just can’t wait. You dream about something your whole life. From the age of 14 or 15, I wanted to be a world champion. My lifetime’s work goes in to those 36 minutes on Sunday.
“That’s what it means. Everything else in the world just stops and it’s just about me and you. When you look into my eyes you’ll see something different to anything you’ve seen before.”
Makubu vows to end Bellew’s dreams
With Bellew hoping to recreate the successful finale of his appearance in ‘Creed’ this Sunday night at Goodison, his foe Makubu has vowed to end his ‘Rocky’ dream of prevailing by tearing up the script, with the southpaw 11/10 to earn a points win.
“I have come here to win,” declared the DR Congo fighter, who is ranked the WBC’s number one contender. “I have not come here to play. This is not a movie, this is the real world, this is serious.
“Tony can have a dream about fighting in this stadium because he is a fan of the club and because he was in the movie to become world champion, but this is my time.
Bellew will have it all to do against a fighter that has not lost since his professional debut back in 2008, with the African also having been taken the distance on just one occasion in his 19 victories (5/1 for KO), but the home hope is 2/1 to gain the judges’ decision and reign supreme.
Smith brothers and Price feature on undercard
The undercard in Liverpool features plenty of home talent too, with three of the Smith brothers making appearances, while David Price looks to continue his comeback on the heavyweight scene.
Merseysider Price is a heavy odds-on 1/100 front runner to topple Jakov Gospic, though an upset from the Croatian is 16/1 to occur, with the former British Olympic medallist having earlier targeted a world title match-up with IBF champion Anthony Joshua.
Super-middleweight prospect Callum Smith will contest Cesar Hernan Reynoso, a fighter he holds an enormous height advantage over, while his oldest brother Paul (1/100) meets Zsolt Dudas and other sibling and recent world super-featherweight title challenger Stephen (1/50) faces Daniel Eduardo Brizuela.