By Joe Delaney, courtesy of The Daily Star
TONY BELLEW continued his march towards another world title shot by beating Edison Miranda – but admitted his latest display was not his best.
The Liverpudlian, 29, stopped his big- hitting Colombian opponent in the ninth round and is now likely to move back on to the world light-heavyweight stage.
But Bellew said he still wasn’t happy with how he had performed, despite proving he had plenty of grit at Alexandra Palace.
He said: “I’d give it six out of 10. I’m happy with the end result and I got the stoppage I predicted.
“I could have put my foot on the gas in the fifth but I could see he still had that big right hand and I wanted to drain him slowly.
“I look like a skinny beanpole but when I hit you, you feel like you’ve been hit by a JCB. Miranda said that, he said, ‘You’re a very strong boy’.
“He’s dangerous and when you’re in with someone like that he can end it with one punch. I can’t afford for that to happen to me. I’m going through that fight thinking I’ve got everything on it.
“If I wake up on Monday morning having lost, I’m going back to 9 to 5 at the penny factory where I used to work.
“I fight every fight as if it’s my last. If I hadn’t come through this, where is my career going? I’m not pulling myself away from my family and dieting for seven weeks to be British champion because that doesn’t provide for my family.”
He added: “I’ve felt for the last 18 months I’m the No.1 light-heavyweight in the country. I don’t profess to be the best in the world yet because I have to prove that.”