Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KO’s) will be kicking off his campaign in the cruiserweight division against Valery Brudov (41-4, 28 KO’s), Bellew failed in his second title fight at light-heavyweight when he was defeated by Adonis Stevenson in November to win the WBC title.
Sometime after the Stevenson fight, Bellew decided to change division and try to win a title at cruiserweight level. Bellew has set his sights on world champions such as Marco Huck and Yoan Pablo Hernandez as he works his way up the rankings.
Bellew is currently ranked #7 with the WBC.
Brudov has fought at world title level, he lost to Guillermo Jones in Panama City, Panama for the WBA cruiserweight title and more recently he lost against Ola Afolabi in Düsseldorf, Germany for the WBA title.
“I am ranked number seven with the WBC at cruiserweight already,” said Bellew. “I am coming into an exciting division with established world champions and I am hoping to make my mark in this division
“My two goals in boxing are to earn a living for me and my kids, and to become a world champion.
“I will go in with Valery Brudov, who has had 45 fights and 41 wins, 28 by knockout – he has had more knockouts than I have had fights.
“He has a good record, he is a good fighter, and this is a dangerous fight, make no mistake. But if I am going to be anything in the cruiserweight division I have to beat this guy and look good beating him. It is a test, and it should let me and everybody else know where I am in the cruiserweight division.”
Ironically Bellew’s former foe Nathan Cleverly also fights in this division now, so should both fighters win their next few fights, we could well see Bellew vs Cleverly II.
“This is a new chapter, a new beginning for me. It is up to me to pick up the pieces, work hard, and get to where I was at light-heavyweight as a cruiserweight,” he said.
“I have always thought about fighting at cruiserweight but I had always had the attitude that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
“I have to earn my shot now, the way I did at light-heavyweight. I have to show I am a top cruiserweight and an A-level fighter. I believe I am but there is no point me saying that, it is better for me to get in there and prove that.
“There are great world champions at this weight. They are world-class fighters, proven fighters and there are no easy touches there. The division is really good.”