‘I’m going to break him, I’m going to take his soul’: Tony Bellew vows to defeat Usyk as he opens up on boxing to impress his dad, fighting in the UFC and working in a pillow factory
- Tony Bellew fights Oleksandr Usyk for all cruiserweight titles on November 10
- He has spoken about what motivated him to start boxing in the first place
- 35-year-old wanted to impress his dad who he describes as a ‘hard man’
- Bellew believes he’s going to crush the ‘monster’ Usyk in their huge clash
Tony Bellew has vowed to ‘take Oleksandr Uysk’s soul’ in their cruiserweight showdown next month and spoke candidly about the roots of his boxing career.
The 35-year-old Liverpool native wanted to impress his ‘hard man’ father, also named Tony, and prove he had the temperament to make it in the ring.
‘I got into boxing to impress my father. My dad could have a fight, my dad was a hard man and it wasn’t always in a boxing ring so he was really tough, my dad could really fight and I always just wanted to impress him,’ the ‘Bomber told 11 degrees.
Tony Bellew opened up about the start of his boxing career among other topics
Bellew (right) started out to impress his father, who had a couple of amateur fights himself
‘He had a couple of amateur fights, the first one he won, was great, second one he fought someone that was reasonably good and lost his rag.
‘I’m told a stool came into play at some point, so he couldn’t keep his temperament, whereas me, I wanted to show my father that I could do it and thankfully it’s worked out OK and he’s really proud of me, what I’ve done, what I’ve achieved, what I’ve yet to achieve. That’s it, my dad was a massive driving factor in me boxing,’ he added.
Bellew is cashing in on massive paydays now, most recently dispatching David Haye twice. But it’s been a long road to the top and he shed light on the early days.
‘I’m very proud of where I’m from, without my upbringing I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m a product of my environment without a shadow of a doubt. Liverpool is the greatest city in the world.
‘When I was going for my first title my job was working in a pillow factory, I used to get up at 6:00am and get on the bus, into the factory for 7:00am, work until 4:00pm stuffing pillows, stitching pillows, whatever they needed you to do, you just did it.
‘I won my first title and got onto an elite scholarship with Liverpool city council, got funding from team GB and then started going to Sheffield from Monday to Thursday and then I had my first son and that’s when life changed.’
The ‘Bomber’ is preparing to fight undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk on November 10
Bellew overcame David Haye twice and has a huge following of loyal fans
And Bellew hinted that he might have gone down the wrong path to earn money if he wasn’t motivated to forge a clean career in boxing.
‘When my first little boy was born everything changed. Someone like me was always going to do well in the financial part of life, I was always going to make money, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, but having my first son made me want to do it the right way.’
The 30-2-1 fighter is a huge fan of all combat sports and spoke about hypothetically fighting some of the biggest names in the UFC.
‘If I was a UFC fighter I actually think I’d want to go down to 185lbs, the 185lbs champion is Georges St Pierre. I could do 205lbs very easily, I’m not that far off it now.
The 35-year-old wouldn’t fancy his chances against some of the UFC’s heavy hitters
Bellew regards Jon Jones (right) as a freak athlete and the best fighter in UFC history
‘But that would be Daniel Cormier and I would want absolutely no part of that because he would pick me up and slam me into the floor so hard, I wouldn’t need that.
‘Without Daniel Cormier you’re looking and Jon Jones and in my opinion Jon Jones is probably the greatest athlete, the greatest fighter the UFC has ever seen, amazing striker, amazing wrestler, fantastic jiu-jitsu, the guy is the most phenomenal fighter the UFC has ever had.
‘He’s got his own issues but taking that aside he’s just a freak of nature so that’s not someone I’d entertain in a cage. In a boxing ring all day, they’d get a good hiding but when it’s a cage it’s their domain and I would see you after!’
But those fanciful contests suddenly evaporate when posed with the very real challenge ahead.
Bellew fights Oleksandr Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian southpaw, but is supremely confident after their staredown.
When Bellew looked in Oleksandr Usyk’s eyes he saw some similarities with himself
‘I see a bit of a lunatic, the same thing I see when I look in the mirror, someone who’s not all there, someone who’s got a screw loose. I think he got confused the first time he looked in my eyes.
‘What he said that he saw was a man who has arrogance but he confuses arrogance for confidence. He’s never looked into a fighter’s eyes before that truly believes he can beat him. I don’t think I can beat him, I know I can beat him.
‘I am going to beat the monster, I’m going to defeat him, he’s not going to be able to take it, I’m going to break him, I’m going to take his soul.’
Tony Bellew was speaking courtesy of 11 Degrees. To see their full collection, go to: www.11degrees.co.uk
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