By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
TONY BELLEW has been happy to pile on the pounds – but resisted the temptation to become a junk food freak.
Bellew has his first fight at cruiserweight tonight after kissing goodbye to the light-heavyweight ranks after battling to make the weight in that division.
He meets Valery Brudv at Liverpool’s Echo Arena tonight in his 200lbs debut and says he feels much better at that weight.
He blames the hardship of getting down to 175lbs for his WBC title defeat to Adonis Stevenson in Canada last November.
Now he is eating more than ever, but the 31-year-old is steering clear of fast food joints, saying: “I don’t know how many meals a day I eat now but the biggest thing for me is keeping it clean.
“I have had to keep a clean diet. It is all about clean food and so if anyone sees me near a fast restaurant then stop me from going in! Or don’t serve me!
“I am much happier now because I don’t fight with the scales anymore. I get weighed once a week instead of twice a day. My weight is really good.
“I’d thought about moving to cruiserweight tons of times, but I’ve always had the attitude if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
Recalling the Stevenson fight, he said: “Adonis definitely beat me and I am putting the pieces back together.
“I knew on the Thursday of fight week. The day before I made 175lbs after training, I was in the hotel and had two breasts of boiled chicken and a bottle of water.
“I was five pounds heavier after that. That five pounds just wouldn’t come off after that until the morning of the weigh-in and I trained three times after that.
“It was a torturous, horrible time. It’s the worst experience I’ve had having to do the weight, but it’s not the reason I lost the fight.
“It was the power in Adonis’ gloves that did that, but I’m not a fool and I know it contributed to it somewhat.
“At cruiserweight, I don’t have to worry about my weight at all.
“Now I am hoping to get back to winning ways at the kind of weight that I feel much more comfortable at.
“One thing you can always rely upon is that I will give 100 percent and I am more motivated than ever for this fight.
“I feel so much happier at this weight and I am to make it count, although I know I will have to be at my best.
“But, in front of my home Liverpool crowd, I know that I can produce the goods and start a whole new chapter in my career.”
PREDICTION: I’m taking Bellew to bounce back to winning ways with a stoppage around the sixth.