Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Mathews Explains Reasons For Tony Bellew's City Support

By Terence Dooley

Liverpool's Derry Mathews was not at London's Alexandra Palace in person to cheer on his fellow Liverpudlian Tony Bellew when “The Bomber” out-boxed and then stopped Edison Miranda in the ninth-round on Saturday night, but Mathews was there in spirit for the latest step in the 29-year-old's march to the top of the 175lb rankings.

Bellew controlled the pace for large periods of the contest, adopting Larry Holmes's adage of, “Get them drunk and then mug them”, in order to post a win over the former middleweight world title challenger. Mathews was one of the first fighters to congratulate Bellew on the win.

Mathews, a former WBU featherweight champion, took a step back from boxing after shocking stoppage defeats to Choi Tseveenpurev, Martin Lindsay, Harry Ramogoadi and Scott Lawton during the course of 2008-2009 only to come back to the sport in 2010.

This decision has proven a wise one as Mathews is currently in training for Prizefighter: The Lightweights, which takes place at Liverpool's Olympia venue on October 6. He recently won the British and then fought for the EBU lightweight belt — an upset stoppage win over Anthony Crolla in six-rounds followed by a ninth-round defeat to Gavin Rees. A 2002 ABA bantamweight champion, Mathews is always in exciting fights and has remained in the lightweight title mix since moving up to 135lbs in January 2011.

The 28-year-old's support for Bellew runs deep and the mutual friendship between the two is always on display in and around the build up to their fights. Like members of a fistic Liverpudlian relay team, the boxers share their ups and downs, and there is a lot of crossover amongst their mutual sets of fans despite both fighters supporting rival football teams — Bellew is an Evertonian and Mathews supports Liverpool FC.

Mathews, 30-7-1 (16), revealed the depth of this friendship during a recent conversation with BoxingScene, and also revealed how long he feels he has left in the sport. “I remember when I lost to Choi (on April 5 2008), Tony Bellew walked to the ring shouting my name, that meant a lot to me and my fans, so they've always respected him for that,” said Mathews.

“Tony is a blue and comes out to (the ring to the theme from) Z Cars (Everton FC's official pre-match tune), but even though the majority of my fans are reds they'll still go out and support him. Tony's a good, genuine lad and it is the same with (British heavyweight champion) David Price. We're lucky, really, to have each other and live in a city that produces some good champions.”

Bellew's post-Tseveenpurev rallying cry showed Mathews that he still had a lot of support despite a devastating defeat. A career that looked to be over at an early age is back on track after that brief sabbatical and Mathews firmly believes that he can reach a milestone figure before he ducks out of the sport.

“It is going to be a very hard night, a tough night, but one that I can win,” said Mathews when asked Prizefighter.  “I want to get to 50 (fights) and then I'm done (with boxing).”

Given the venue for Prizefighter, it is likely that Bellew will be in the crowd. This time, though, the British light-heavyweight champion could be leading the fans in a victory cry for the local hero.

Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Tyron Zeuge vs. Isaac Ekpo - Purse Bid Ordered For January 31 David Haye: Bellew Looked Fat and Nervous - He'll Be KO'd Quick Funeka Warns Pacquiao To Take Horn Serious or Suffer Shock Loss Braekhus vs. Svensson is Pushed Back To February 24 Liam Williams vs. Liam Smith For WBO European Belt, April 8 Photos: Fury, Saunders, Adams, Smith-Williams, Flanagan Presser Chocolatito: No Problem Facing Cuadras, But Focus is on Rungvisai Hearn: No Interest in Khan's Proposed 70-30 Split for Brook Bout Yuriorkis Gamboa Inks Promotional With Golden Boy Promotions Nicola Adams Turns Pro With Frank Warren, Will Debut On April 8 Top Rank President Lays Out Michael Conlan's Plan To Stardom Cancer-Free Father Made Camp Less Stressful for Leo Santa Cruz Lara's Coach: Canelo Does Not Have The Style To Beat Golovkin Angel Garcia: Danny Could Ruin Thurman's Career, Like Matthysse's Daily Bread Mailbag: Mayweather-Ali, Cotto-Kirkland, Jack, More Judge Sets Down Terms To Lift Ban on Edwin Valero Movie Nicola Adams Leaves Team GB Boxing Setup, Free To Pursue Other Opportunities Steve Goodwin Updates on Stable, Looks Ahead, Reflects on 2016 Eubank Jr: DeGale is One of The Best at 168? That's Embarrassing! Golovkin's Coach on The Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. Catch-Weight Randy Caballero To Return on March 23 on ESPN Card "Fighting Words" - Angel Garcia to Blame, Though We Enabled Him Abel Sanchez: Maybe It Could Be Golovkin-Chavez, Canelo-Jacobs Puerto Rico Commission To Investigate Vazquez Jr. Pay Claims Shawn Porter Tabs Santa Cruz To Beat Frampton in Rematch Chocolatito: All Rungvisai Has is a Punch, It Won't Be That Difficult Klitschko Coach Says Everyone Will Be Shocked After Joshua Fight Nacho: Juan Manuel Marquez Has Not Retired, Wants To Fight Memo: Chavez Jr. Will Be Stronger, No Weight Issues For Canelo Thurman-Garcia: Narvaez vs. Rodriguez Clash is Eyed For Card Rob Brant Stops Alexis Hloros in First at Grand Casino in Hinckley Canelo vs. Chavez is a Fight Boxing Needed, Says De La Hoya David Haye: Chris Eubank Jr. is a Force, He Will Go All The Way Canelo vs. Chavez: Positive Talks Ongoing With MGM, Jerry Jones Conlan Hopes For 'Dream Fight' With Carl Frampton in The Future Top Rank Prez Eyes Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker Unification Jacobs: Most Guys are Beaten Mentally When They Face Golovkin Frampton Expects Rematch With Leo Santa Cruz To Be Easier Tomoki Kameda Returns To Japan on March 10, Faces Tawatchai Carl Greaves Looks Back On 2016, Is Excited About 2017
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement