British light-heavyweight champion Tony ‘Bomber’ Bellew (17-1, 11 KO’s) hope’s that one day he will live his dream of fighting at his beloved Everton Football ground Goodison Park in his home city of Liverpool in a big world title fight.
“Ive been asked a couple of times where would I rather fight (Las) Vegas, MGM Grand, big lights or Goodison Park and there’s no comparison at all. Id rather it be a summer’s night under the lights at Goodison Park.
“So for me the end product is Goodison Park under the lights, with Z-Cars (Everton’s adoptive theme tune) playing as I walk to the ring.” Tony told Matchroom Sports.
Bellew, 29, takes the next step to his dream and a step up in class on Saturday night (8th Sep) when he faces big punching Colombian Edison ‘Pantera’ Miranda in a scheduled 10 round international contest at the Alexandra Palace in London.
Miranda, 31 (35-7, 30 KO’s) is a two-time IBF super middleweight title challenger and is more experienced than Bellew having been in the ring with the likes of Andre Ward, who he took the distance losing on points. Lucian Bute, Arthur Abraham (twice) and Kelly Pavlik and Bellew will have to produce a world class performance to overcome a fighter who still has big ambition himself, ‘Pantera’ will not be coming to London to be a stepping stone for the Liverpool boxing hero.
Miranda has fought here before when he stopped Joey Vegas in 5 rounds at the York Hall in March 2009 and has been talking big in the build up to this highly anticipated match-up and he is pulling no punches in his assessment of the fight and the challenge of Bellew, predicting things could get ugly.
“Put your kids to bed early on Saturday,” said Miranda. “I don’t want them to be frightened by seeing what I do to Bellew. It is going to be ugly.
With 30 of his 35 wins coming by stoppage, the Columbian is expecting an early finish. Bellew can also bang, but Miranda doesnt believe Tony has the power to hurt him and after a long hard training camp working with WBC light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, he is coming here prepared.
“I have had an excellent camp. I moved to Las Vegas and trained for the past six weeks with Chad Dawson. We worked very well together and had some great sparring sessions. He is a great champion. I am ready for anyone now.”
“We are both known as powerful punchers?” said Miranda. “Maybe I need to watch more Tony Bellew fights. Who calls him a powerful puncher? His girlfriend? The reason the fight will not go the distance is because Edison Miranda is a powerful puncher. I am not putting this decision in the hands of the judges. You can save money and keep the judges at home. There will be two men standing at the end of this fight, Edison Miranda and the ref.”
Bellew knows though this is his time to shine and prove that he can make that step up from British and Commonwealth title level. The British champion was impressive in his last outing a tidy performance in a fifth round KO of Danny McIntosh in Liverpool in April, and Tony says this is the step up he has been craving as he looks to prove he can mix it at World level.
“He’s a World class name and the sort of guy I’ve been looking to fight for some time now,” said Bellew. “When you look at the guys he’s fought and the titles he’s boxed for you know you are sharing the ring with someone who is at the top level and it should be a great fight as he can punch and he comes to fight.
“McIntosh was a European champ and I beat him up convincingly so I’ve proved I belong at European level at least but I’ve always thought that I can aim higher and if I can do a job on Miranda then that will prove it.”
“I’m buzzing for this fight and I’ve already organised half a dozen coaches to come down from Liverpool on the day, and I’m sure there will be more as this is a proper fight not to be missed.”
Expect a barn stormer of a fight here? Bellew would be well advised to box behind his jab for a few rounds and try to get the measure and timing of Miranda instead of looking for the big shots early on, which could turn the fight into a barn storm, then anything could happen! Miranda is a wise old pro and knows his way around a ring, Bellew cannot take chances.
We all know Miranda can bang and he will be coming forward trying to land that big right hand of his. Bellew though I believe will not be drawn into any toe to toe war with Miranda and will hopefully show a cool head and his good boxing brain to outbox his foe with some sharp hurtful punches. Miranda though will take some shifting and will not go over easy. For the knockout Bellew will need to land sweet and if he does Miranda has been knocked-out before. If there’s is a knockout expect it late in the fight, but I expect a mature professional good solid points win for Bellew and another step closer to his Goodison Park dream.
Also on the bill
Lee Purdy is aiming to break into the World welterweight scene by beating unbeaten Argentine Gumersindo Carrasco in their chief support bout for the IBF International welterweight title.
English champion Purdy had been preparing for a title defence before grabbing the chance to fight for the belt that Kell Brook relinquished for his stablemate to reach for the World stage, and the 25 year old is determined to take out the Argentine who comes to London with a big reputation and an impressive record of 13 KOs from 16 wins.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to catapult myself onto the World stage and I believe I can do it,” said Purdy. ““I don’t think it’s a big step-up for me, I think it’s a big step-up for him. People have been saying he’s a big puncher but I carry a big dig myself and people are forgetting that. He’s been down a few times and he is going to walk onto some big shots and I believe I’ll take him out.
“We’ve got a game plan and tactics now that we’ve seen the opponent, nothing is going to change in the preparation and I’m going to be training as hard as ever which is going to make for a great fight.”
Exciting light middleweight star Erick Ochieng defending his English title for the second time against Southern Area champ Ryan Toms, hotly tipped Islington middleweight John Ryder will also be in action while popular unbeaten Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou fights for the first title of his career when he tackles Danny Connor for the vacant Southern Area light welterweight title.
There is a debut for Team GB star Martin Ward, who hopes to follow the example set by Kal Yafai when he stopped Delroy Spencer on his debut in July. Yafai fights for the second time as a pro, as does cruiserweight prospect Wadi Camacho and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor completes the line-up in his seventh pro outing.
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