By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
TONY BELLEW believes boxing will not begin to properly punish drug cheats until someone dies in the ring.
The former world cruiserweight champion yesterday delivered a devastating attack on the sport’s authorities for letting doping cheats prosper.
And he claimed it could end in “premeditated murder” if a boxer goes into the ring with the advantage of performance-enhancing substances.
The Liverpool heavyweight, 35, declined to condemn Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez after he called for clarification on his six-month ban.
The Mexican has blamed contaminated meat. But Bellow hit out at the sport for failing to deal with the wider issue. He believes anyone caught taking drugs should be banned for life.
He said: “Canelo says he has eaten contaminated meat and if that is the case then he is a t**. But I cannot condemn and judge him if it is contaminated meat.
“But don’t come out and say someone has failed a drugs test and then not say the amount.
“I cannot say Canelo is a cheat until the doping organisation says so. We need clarification.
“If Canelo has genuinely taken drugs then ban him but it won’t change until – and I am sorry to say it – someone dies at the hands of a fighter on steroids, because then it is premeditated murder.
“When that happens you will see the sport change but until that defining moment you will not see it.
“When someone dies, and touch wood it isn’t me, they will start banning people for life and it will send a message.
“It will take someone losing their life because people do understand that lives are more important than money.
“If someone dies at the hands of a drug cheat it will change everything but why does it need that to happen?”
Bellew is back in action next week when he faces David Haye in a much-anticipated rematch at the O2.
He shocked Haye last year when he stopped him in the 11th round, after the Londoner suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon halfway through their fight.
He added: “I’m dealing now with a wounded animal and that is the most dangerous thing you can meet. I’m going to poke him some more.”