|Tony Bellew (far left)|
Danny McIntosh says he plans to rip Tony Bellew’s British light heavyweight title away from him live on Sky Sports on Friday night (April 27) and add to the Everton mans FA Cup anguish.
Bellew defends the belt on home turf at the Liverpool Echo Arena against his challenger from Norwich and the duo’s football allegiances have come to the fore ahead of the clash.
Lifelong Evertonian Bellew was gutted when his side lost the Merseyside derby at Wembley as Liverpool denied Tony and his beloved Toffees a second trip to London. McIntosh’s Norwich City recently hosted Everton and twice came from behind to seal a draw, but Danny says that this time around, the spoils won’t shared and Bellew will have to deal with his title being taken back to East Anglia.
“I don’t think Tony would get so upset about Everton getting knocked out of the cup that he’d lose the fight,” said McIntosh. “But on the night I’m going to make sure it finishes with a Norwich win – there’s not going to be a draw this time.”
McIntosh withdrew from the original date of April 13 with a chest infection, but the former European and English champion insist he has shaken the illness off and is ready to take on the Bomber, whose only defeat was the slender points loss to Nathan Cleverly in the pair’s WBO World title fight in October – and McIntosh says he’s fighting fit and ready to inflict defeat number two on the 29 year old.
“It’s been a week or two since I had my virus and I’m feeling much better now,” said McIntosh. “Preparation has gone well and I’m feeling good for the fight night. I’ve been training loads and not just to come back during my recovery, I’ve been in the gym loads. I think that may have contributed to being ill because I do train relatively hard.
“The decision (to delay the fight) was nothing to do with me; that was my trainer Dominic Ingle’s call. I would’ve fought. I’d fight anytime, anywhere. Obviously that’s a silly thing to say, because I wouldn’t be well to fight, but there’s no pressure from my end whatsoever. If he thinks there’s pressure from my end then he wrong.”
McIntosh has not fought since losing his European title to Eduard Gutknecht in Germany in May after claiming the belt four months earlier against Thierry Karl in France, and the 32 year old says he is in a much better frame of mind for this challenge after not being right for the clash in Germany.
“I wasn’t bothered when I lost my European title,” said McIntosh. “I was going through a really bad stage in my life and I really wasn’t bothered. One of my best mates had died. But my hunger has come back ten-fold and believe me, Tony had better watch out on the night because Danny Mac is not here for the taking at all.
“It’s been a long time since my last fight and I can’t wait to get into the Echo Arena. I’ve trained so hard for this fight, and I’m sure Tony has as well. I’m sure you’re going to see two fighters 100 per cent up for it on the night. You’ll see him try to take my head off to no avail, trust me.
“Losing doesn’t enter my vocabulary when I’m in training like this. I’m a fighter; I don’t go in the ring with the perception of loss and losing. I’m a winner, I’m a born winner. I’ve got a Superman mentality, I believe I can do anything. This fight is going to lead onto big, big things when I beat Tony better than Cleverly did. That was a very close fight; this fight is not going to be so close.
“My boxing game has gone through the roof. My fitness is always fairly good. But I feel like I’m a different person, for sure. I’ve fought a couple of fights at European level and I believe I’m on that level, easily. I wasn’t 100 per cent in either of those fights at all.
“I want the world. As a boxer, you enter the boxing game looking at all the glitz and glamour wanting to be a world champion. I’ve know that since I was a child, that I want to be successful and be the champion in whatever field I’m in. But I really believe I will be world champion and until I reach that goal no one’s going to stand in my way. You could say that I’m pretty old, but I think I can keep going until I’m 36 or 37 and still be in my prime, I don’t think I’m even in my prime yet. I think with some hard work, grit and determination, and a will to succeed I can be the world champion I tell people I will be. I know pundits haven’t got me down as the favourite, but we will see on the night.”
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Photo courtesy of Al "Big Al" Stevenson.