By Miguel Assuncao
O2 Arena, London - Liverpool’s Tony Bellew (25-2-1, 16K Os) edged closer to a world title shot as he won the EBU European cruiserweight title by beating Mateusz Masternak (36-3-0, 26 KOs) on points.
‘The Bomber’ controlled the early exchanges with an effective double jab that closed the distance on his Polish opponent, and allowed him to bring his right hand into play.
Masternak pressed forward with a high guard offering plenty of ambition, but Bellew stayed patient and looked to land single power shots whenever his 28-year-old opponent’s guard was down.
The Wroclaw-based fighter’s timing improved as the fight went on and he was able to catch Bellew with several left hands, forcing the Everton fan to be more cute in his approach.
The fight came to life in round nine, with both fighters trading a series of heavy hooks.
Bellew was temporarily dazed by a left hand in round 10, but it prompted the Englishman into action and he was able to reply with several hefty right hands of his own.
The former light-heavyweight then began to force the pace and had Masternak on unsteady legs late in round 12 but was unable to clinch the stoppage. He won 115-113, 115-112, 115-112 on the cards.