This past Saturday, Tony Bellew remained on course for a world title showdown with Nathan Cleverly despite failing to provide the expected fireworks in his unanimous points win over Ovill McKenzie in Liverpool.
Bellew had to climb off the canvas twice before stopping McKenzie in the eighth round of their initial meeting last December, but this time eased to victory by margins of 118-111 118-111 and 119-110 to add the vacant British light-heavyweight title to his Commonwealth belt.
And despite the fight failing to ignite, Bellew believes he showed why he now deserves a shot at WBO champion Cleverly, who was watching at ringside.
"I told you - for the first time in my life I had to stick to a gameplan," Bellew told Sky Sports HD1. "I've got Mark and Mick in the corner. They told me, don't trade with him. His hope is to bang one big punch with the right hand. Listen, I can box. I know what I can do. He's a dangerous, dangerous puncher. I knew that. I've got to thank my team for whipping me into fantastic shape.
"Listen it's a risky business. What to do want me to go in there and provide what I done last time. I'm in this game for the long run. There'll be exciting fights down the line. Get me the fella from the valleys and I'll provide excitement. I'll leave him asleep. You bring him on and we'll get excitement. He can't punch like him. Ovill McKenzie is a dangerous puncher. His record is a big lie. The guy can punch.
"No-one knows I can box and dominate. I stuck to a gameplan, 12 rounds on a jab. I'm fit, I'm strong and I didn't load up once. I didn't throw one clean power shot and I dominated. It was easy."Tags: Nathan Cleverly , Tony Bellew , Cleverly-Bellew , Cleverly vs Bellew