Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Tony Bellew Believes He Will Stop Mateusz Masternak

By Matt Bevan

Tony Bellew is confident that he will be the first man to put Mateusz Masternak on the floor, and the first to make him stay there, as the two men prepare to do battle for the vacant European cruiserweight title at the O2 Arena in London this Saturday.

Bellew, 33, currently holds a record of (25-2-1, 16 KOs) and is expecting Masternak to provide him with some stern competition and make up for some lost time after filming the movie, Creed.

“The Bomber” exercised some demons last November by gaining revenge on domestic rival Nathan Cleverly, however due to filming commitments he has only picked up straight forward victories over no opponent of note since then.

But, he knows it will be totally different with Masternak, whose record stands at (36-3, 26 KOs) as Bellew believes the Pole is a huge threat and the Liverpool man firmly agrees that this is his hardest fight since his 2013 loss to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.

Speaking to Boxing Scene, Bellew said: “Everything is at stake in this fight with Masternak. I enjoy being in close, hard fights and this one certainly fits the bill. He is similar to me, in that he is in the prime of his career and he’s very well rounded and well-schooled.

“He doesn't do anything fantastic, but he does everything well. He’s a former European champion, so he knows how to fight, but we’ll find out just how good he is on Saturday. He has lost three, but only one of them was genuine, and that was the Grigory Drozd loss. I think his fight with Youri Kalenga could have gone either way, whilst he was robbed in South Africa against Johnny Muller.

“This fight is as hard as I want to make it. If I stay composed, keep control of my emotions and listen to my coach, Dave Coldwell, then I’ll do a job on him and be the first to put him down, and the first to make him stay there.”

Bellew knows a win over Masternak puts him in the reckoning for some big fights in 2016, in what is an exciting cruiserweight division. It is a prospect that clearly excites “The Bomber”, who moved up in weight last year.

He reveals that Argentine IBF champion, Victor Ramirez, who drew with Bellew’s former victim Ovill McKenzie, refused to take a career high payday to fight him on the bill, and says his next opponent in Masternak is a better fighter than him anyway.

He is also looking forward to appearing on another big bill in the UK, his first since he headlined against Cleverly last November in his hometown, although he knows the fight failed to live up to the media hype that surrounded it.

“My only regret about doing the movie was where it has put my boxing career. It’s put me a couple of steps back and I could have capitalised on that and fought a nobody, but I don't want to do that. I want to be in exciting fights.

“There’s plenty of those in the cruiserweight division, which is so even. There aren't any easy fights and the worst out of the top 10 is one of the champions in Ramirez, who refused to fight me, despite being offered a career high payday.

“The best is probably Oleksandr Usyk, the former Olympic Champion, but everyone is well matched. This fight with Masternak has captured the imagination of the sanctioning bodies and probably exceeds the European title. I was told that it could have been for a “Regular” world title, but I’m not interested in that, as the last thing I want to be considered is a “Plastic” World Champion.

“I love being on these big bills, but they’re not as enjoyable the further down the bill you are. The Cleverly rematch was big and had plenty of media attention, but didn't live up to the hype, which is down to him. I don't want to be a support act, I want to be the act. But, I’ll get back up there and believe you me, I will look good on Saturday.”

Matt Bevan is part of Boxing Scene's UK team. Follow him on Twitter @MBevs68

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by knockoutkid on 12-08-2015

Tone is british level, he's not a big puncher he's too slow, he will not stop this guy, he might barely scrape a decision or lose one. Tone the definition of british level, lebedev would put him to sleep in…

Top Headlines
Fury: When Bullies Like Wilder Get Bullied, They Fold Every Single Time! News: Deontay Wilder, Braekhus, Kaleiopu, Stevens, Avagyan Emanuel Navarrete, Amir Imam, Lewis - Workouts Gerald Washington, Subriel Matias, Fundora - Workouts Tyson Fury: Deontay Wilder is Terrified. He’s Nervous as Hell Wilder: I'm Looking Forward To Making Fury A Black History Trivia Question Wilder, Fury Erupts Into Shoving Match at Final Presser Fury: Not Sure About Pound For Pound, But I Will Be Best Heavyweight Of My Era Caleb Plant's S&C Coach Feels He Can Box Anywhere From 160 To 175 LIVE STREAM: Wilder-Fury Rematch - Final Press Conference Tyson Fury: I've Knocked All My Sparring Partners Out Cold! Plant-Feigenbutz Draws Peak Audience of 1.809 Million Viewers Arum Says Whyte Should Be Next For Wilder-Fury Winner Parker: I Want Wilder-Fury Winner To Challenge Joshua Wilder-Fury Rematch: Nevada Commission Assigns Judges, Referee Wilder Looks To Break Ali Record With 'Devastating' KO Win Murat Gassiev Delays Return, Andrey Klimov Shocked in Moscow Shane Mosley Jr. Inks Co-Promotional With Golden Boy Rau'Shee Warren: I Want Rigondeaux Before End Of The Year, Get That Belt Wilder: Once I Knock Fury Out, You Won't Hear Nothing About Lineal Champion Fury: Rematch With Wilder Biggest Heavyweight Fight In 50 Years, Since Ali-Frazier Eddie Hearn: We Must See Joshua vs. Wilder-Fury Winner Mickey Bey Now a Free Agent, Aims For Big Fights Like Gervonta MTK Golden Contract: Leigh Wood Is Making Up For Lost Time Foreman: Fury Will Beat Wilder - Likely By Controversial Decision Fury Warns: I'm Going To Rip Wilder's Heart Out, Feed it To Him! Charlie Edwards, Liam Walsh, Michael McKinson Back on April 18 Amateur Champion's Arrest Creates Big Scandal in Russia First Encounters With Tyson Fury Tyson Fury: No British Judges For Wilder Rematch? Fantastic! Tyson Fury Media Interview on Deontay Wilder Rematch Deontay Wilder Media Interview on Tyson Fury Rematch Wilder: Tyson Fury Can't Punch - My Two-Year-Old Hits Harder! Navarrete-Santisima, Fundora-Lewis - Face-Offs at Grand Arrivals Charles Martin, Gerald Washington - Face-Off at Grand Arrival Tyson Fury Makes His Grand Arrival in Las Vegas Deontay Wilder Makes His Grand Arrival in Las Vegas Fury Slams Wilder's Record: Former NFL Players, Has-Beens, Bums! LIVE STREAM: Wilder vs. Fury II - Grand Arrivals in Las Vegas Catterall Will Not Step Aside To Allow Josh Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez
Latest Forum Threads