Fighthype’s Gary Mushrow was on hand yesterday at Liverpool’s Hilton Hotel for a Matchroom Sports media day to announce Saturday’s Prizefighter Lightweights II draw and Tony Bellew’s upcoming opponent. We managed to catch a word with the reigning British Light Heavyweight champion about his next fight and his previous bout with world ranked opponent Edison Miranda.
GM: First of all congratulations on the announcement that you will be facing Roberto Bolonti at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on 17th November. How do you feel?
TB: It’s another step up, it’s another rung up the ladder. It’s what I’ve wanted. I think he’s WBC number 6, I think he’s IBF number 9, he’s WBA number 8; he’s above me in every organization so it’s a good fight – it’s one I’m looking forward to.
GM: How far to plan did you feel your last fight against Edison Miranda went?
TB: Listen it went perfectly to plan. It wasn’t the most exciting performance in the world and it didn’t set everywhere alight but it went the way I planned it. I mean sitting down thinking the night before we had a game plan to put pressure on him earlier but he still had pop in them punches, and he still had a lot left; he’s far from a shot fighter. He was skimming the lights a few times with the right hands he was throwing. So it went the way I expected but just a bit longer than I anticipated to be honest, so I’m happy that I got the job done and it’s on to the next one.
GM: Have you had chance to watch the fight back? Some of the commentary was very negative towards the performance which I felt was very harsh at the time as the viewing public could all see the game plan you were sticking to.
TB: You know sometimes I understand what the commentators are saying because at the end of the day boxing is a business and it’s also about excitement – show business and you’ve got to keep people on the edge of their seats at all times. But I could of gone in there and had a slugging match with him from the first round and I’d of probably knocked him out in about two rounds but I’d have took an awful lot of stick myself and I might have had to drag myself off the floor to win as well. So I’m sick of being in battles that I don’t need to be in. If you look at boxing in the Queensbury rules it’s about being hit and not be hit and thats what I was taught as a kid. So then if I can go into a fight and take zero punishment and knock a guy out – then I will do it every single time. I will do what is best for my career and my family because at the end of the day no one is going to come and visit me in a hospital, no one is going to pay my mortgage when I’m banged up lying there. Like I say its very rare someone will come and see my or pay my mortgage. So I’ve got to do whats best for my family. The way I boxed against Edison Miranda was best for me, I agree it wasn’t great viewing for five rounds but from round six onwards you could physically see me putting bits of pressure on him and then once it got to rounds seven or eight I started to really nail him and he was feeling it. So I’m happy, but in the same way I only really give it a six out of ten.
GM: So after today announcing your fight against Roberto Bolonti have you had much chance to have a look at him?
TB: Yeah I’ve seen him, he can bang with either hand, he’s a bit reckless, he likes to think he’s a bit of a boxer but he’s not going to be on my level. He’s got this dizzy ranking for me but he is dangerous and can bang with either hand as I say but he’s got a dizzy rating for me. He’s got up there fighting not absolute nobodys, he’s fought some good guys and he’s knocked out the south american champion in like seven rounds. He only lost his fourth pro fight and basically thats just experience so he’s undefeated in his last twenty six, 85% of them are knockouts. But listen he’s going to get a fright when he gets here, when they lay eyes on me I always say the same thing – when they first clock eyes on me they don’t believe that I’m so much bigger than them and when my top comes off and we’re in the ring, I’m twice as big as them and I’ve grown hugely from the weigh in. So Bolonti is in for a shock when he claps eyes on me, he’s going to realise I mean business and I’m here to do a nasty nasty job on him.
GM: How happy have you been with the productivity from Eddie Hearn in comparison to Frank Warren?
TB: Listen there is no comparison. If you look at it, I’ve never boxed so regularly. He’s got fights planned out for me into next year in February after this; he’s putting out bill after bill. I’ve always said that all I wanted to do was be a busy and active fighter. I don’t want to be boxing in front of 30,000 viewers. I want to be boxing on big bills and if you’ve only got small viewers, you’re getting small figures and it’s as simple as that. I just want an opportunity to box on a regular basis and I believe I’m getting that now.
GM: Finally, what were your views on Frank Warren’s very public outburst on twitter regarding you? It’s not something you see everyday from a big promoter.
TB: No listen it’s not. Me being called an ingrate stuff like that – it’s not very nice to be fair, but listen I’ll rise above it. I thought it was childish.
GM: I thought it was very classy the way you answered it.
TB: Well I thought it was childish and that my opinion. He’s got his opinion and I’ve got mine. At the end of the day I don’t understand what I should be grateful for? For somebody stealing my Commonwealth title? Should I be grateful for someone vacating that title when I had no idea it was being vacated. I shouldn’t really be grateful for them things so you know I will state it again. I don’t believe in vacating titles, I’ve never vacated a title in my life, I had a manager who vacated that title for me – it’s just one of them things.