Tony Bellew's Control And Power Slays McIntosh And Proves He's World Class

A punch perfect performance from the garrulous scouser showed that he is ready to step up...
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A punch perfect performance from the garrulous scouser showed that he is ready to step up...

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When Dominic Ingle said, at the end of the second round of this British Light-Heavyweight clash between Tony Bellew and Danny McIntosh, that “his timing is off, he can only hit you with something big,” it was clear that Danny McIntosh was finished. Kidology and reverse psychology play a big part on boxing, but when you hear something so grossly untrue that early you know a fighter is done.

From the first bell to the glorious overhand right that finished Danny Mac in the fifth, Bellew was superb. The death mask he wore as he walked to the ring showed that he meant business, and if you’ve followed him on Twitter then you will know that he trains like a beast.

Leading with rapid bursts of double jabs, he showed that he has stepped up to world level after his narrow, and some would say undeserved, loss to Nathan Cleverly last year. Bellew has always talked the talk. Well now, after a glittering amateur career, he has started to walk the walk professionally.

McIntosh was nothing but a show pony, demonstrating the technique of an Ingle fighter without the tools to back it up, It’s one thing bobbing your head and crouching, its another hurting opponents after creating those angles.

The intelligence Bellew showed tonight marked him out as a world class fighter

With every second of the fight Bellew grew in stature as McIntosh wilted. The control he showed in that classic straight-backed style was textbook boxing. Eyes on the opponent, circling the ring, jabbing with precision, going to the body and uploading with left and right hooks following the jab.

I love Bellew as a fighter. He might be mouthy but he is a living embodiment of what you can do by maximizing your talent. He has an intelligence that doesn’t need a maths degree to back it up and, for my money, deserves a rematch against Cleverly.

He spoke after the fight about not being the most talented kid in his gym, but the ruthless professionalism he showed makes a mockery of that statement. After his first fight with Orville McKenzie, he decided he needed to show control. After the second fight, he was lambasted for  a boring fight. When he fought Cleverley he proved he has the lot, but I think he went too far in trying to prove this and forgot his gameplan as they traded. Tonight, he showed that he is an even more dangerous fighter when he boxes behind the high guard.

If there was one negative, and it was only one, there were a couple of wild lunging lefts that a composed opponent with a higher skill level might have countered, but they only came when McIntosh was finished. The intelligence Bellew showed tonight marked him out as a world class fighter, especially when you add his incredible fitness levels and devastating punching power. On a day when a man held hostages in Tottenham Court Road, here was a Bomber to be truly proud of. May it long continue.

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