By Terence Dooley
Billy Graham – the former trainer of Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton – has tipped Liverpool's Tony Bellew for big things as long as “The Bomber” rations his big shots and continues to show the patience he displayed in recent fights against Danny McIntosh, Nathan Cleverly, in a losing WBO world title tilt, and his return meeting with Ovill McKenzie.
Bellew successfully defended his British belt when knocking out McIntosh in the fifth round at Liverpool's ECHO Arena on April 27. The 29-year-old is currently waiting on news of his next fight. Graham feels he is destined for the top as long as he continues to use smart boxing to forge openings.
“I told [Hatton's former nutritionist and Graham's assistant] Kerry [Kayes] that Bellew would knock McIntosh out,” said Graham when speaking to Boxingscene. “Tony’s improving with every fight now he’s got back to his jab and boxing ability instead of going out there to get the KO in every fight. There’s a lot out there for him in the division as long as he carries on listening to the people around him and stays patient instead of gunning for the knockout with every punch he throws, which was his problem in the past.”
Bellew, 17-1 (11), still disputes the 112-117, 114-114 and 113-116 cards that ensured the Welshman registered a majority decision and retained his title after their October 15 Meeting. The three-time ABA heavyweight titlist, though, has vowed to define himself over the course of a successful career rather than through his rivalry with Cleverly – with the McIntosh win the first step on his road to redemption.
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