Tony Bellew lashed out at Danny McIntosh in today's press conference after the Norwich man failed to make it to Liverpool.
McIntosh cited travel problems as the reason for not getting to the Hilton Hotel in Bellew’s backyard, where the British light-heavyweight champion defends his belt against McIntosh on Friday at the Echo Arena live on Sky Sports.
Bellew replaced ‘Big Mac’ with the fast food sandwich that he takes his nickname from, and although the champ shared a laugh with the assembled media, he soon let rip at the former European champ for not showing his face.
“It is total disrespect from Danny to the press, Sky Sports and to me – it’s pathetic really,” said Bellew. “I know what he’s trying to do and there’s no point trying to play mind games with me.
“I don’t eat Big Macs but I’ll make an exception on Friday night – he’s getting chewed up and spat out. The problem is that he’s only coming for the cheque, he might walk off with a good pay day but he’ll have a big defeat and a bust up face to show for his night.
“It’s great being back on Sky Sports, it’s a dream. There are great fighters out there that are dying because they don’t have a profile and when you are on Sky Sports, that’s what you get, and you need that to fight for the big titles and money, which is where I think I should be.”
Bellew returns to action for the first time since his tight and spirited WBO title challenge to Nathan Cleverly in October at the same venue. Many pundits gave the decision to the Liverpudlian, but it was Cleverly that held on to the title through majority decision. Bellew was far from impressed when Cleverly defended his title against little known American Tommy Karpency, and is angry that despite emerging from the fight with great credit, he has not been back in the ring until now.
“I’m coming off the back of my best performance and I feel that I have been punished for fighting so well,” said Bellew. “I’ve been left of the shelf for way too long and I’ll take it out on Danny on Friday.
“Cleverly is the weakest world champion, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. But he doesn’t want it, so let’s move on and look at better fighters. The fact is that he is not fighting the right fighters – if I was fighting carpet fitters and plumbers I wouldn’t be happy and there’s something wrong there. Danny is a bigger threat than Tommy Karpency, a guy who went back to his corner and wanted out after the third round – that’s not right. But there’s more out there than Nathan for me, I will fight anyone and I guarantee excitement, bums on seats and TV viewers.”
Before Bellew can take the next step in his career he needs to deal with McIntosh, with Tony believing that the Dominic Ingle-trained 32 year-old does not put in the same effort to prepare for fights as he does.
“Danny doesn’t do things right outside the ring and I know that because it’s my business to know what he does outside the ring,” said Bellew. “He’ll be in hot baths in Sheffield to make the weight and I’m bang on it now. But he’s a dangerous fighter and he’s a bigger puncher than Cleverly so I’m not taking this lightly whatsoever – I’m just supremely confident that I have far too much for him or any other domestic light heavyweight.
“I’m beyond that level now but on Friday the talking stops and I have to put something special on for the fans and viewers because I’ve been out for too long. There’s no use me just getting by him on points or something, I need to look explosive and devastating – and that’s the plan.”
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