Born on November 30, 1982 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, Tony Bellew is a rangy boxer who has fought at light heavyweight and cruiserweight. He had a successful amateur career, winning ABA titles in 2002 and 2003 and picking up quite a few KOs along the way. He even jumped up to heavyweight as an amateur.
Bellew decided to join the professional ranks on October 6, 2007 when he fought Jamie Ambler. The fight didn’t last long, as he scored a TKO victory in the second round. Less than a month later he fought again, this time scoring a third-round TKO over Adam Wilcox. He had one more fight to finish the year, and it was against his first opponent with a winning record in the 3-0-1 Wayne Brooks. That didn’t matter, as he put Brooks out in the third round to win by KO.
He continued building his record in 2008 and 2009, and by the time 2009 ended he was 12-0, with eight of those wins coming by knockout. That was good enough to get him a shot at the vacant Commonwealth light heavyweight title, although it was against an inexperienced opponent in the 4-1 Atoli Moore. Tony Bellew came out and dominated from the very beginning, finishing the fight by TKO in the first round. He beat Bob Ajisafe by unanimous decision and then finished Ovill McKenzie by TKO in the eighth round. He was then supposed to fight Nathan Cleverly in a world title fight but missed weight and lost that opportunity. In an interesting turn of events, he had to fight Ovill McKenzie again, this time winning a unanimous decision after 12 rounds and earning the British light heavyweight title in the process.
Bellew then got another chance to fight Nathan Cleverly, on October 15, 2011 for the WBO light heavyweight title. He came up short, though, as his opponent’s boxing skills were just a bit too much for him to handle. He ended up dropping a majority decision in a close fight. Bouncing back with a fifth-round KO over Danny McIntosh, he then beat Edison Miranda by TKO in the ninth round to win the WBC Silver International light heavyweight title. He picked up the WBC Silver light heavyweight title in his next fight, and by November 30, 2013, he had earned another world title fight. This was against Adonis Stevenson for the WBC, The Ring, and lineal light heavyweight titles. He was no match for the power of Stevenson, losing by TKO in the sixth round.
Tony Bellew decided to drop to cruiserweight after that loss, and immediately picked up the WBO International belt with a 12th-round KO over Valery Brudov. After putting together a six-fight winning streak, he got to fight against Ilunga Makabu on May 29, 2016 for the WBC cruiserweight title. This time, Bellew wouldn’t be denied a world title, as he stopped Makabu in the third round by KO. He followed that up with a title defense over BJ Flores where he once again won by third-round KO.