Tony Bellew looks set to earn his second shot at a world title after the WBC ordered new champion Adonis Stevenson to defend his light-heavyweight belt against the popular Englishman.
After narrowly failing against WBO champion Nathan Cleverly back in 2011, Bellew has worked his way up the WBC rankings into a mandatory position, now putting himself in line to face the hard-hitting Stevenson following his sensational first round KO of Chad Dawson last month.
Stevenson stunned the betting odds to claim the belt after taking out Dawson in devastating fashion, and the 35-year old has been told he must make his first defence against Bellew after the Liverpudlian saw off Isaac Chilemba at the second time of asking to put himself first in line with the WBC.
Never the most gifted fighter in the world, Bellew has shown that often determination is more important to a boxer than talent, but there will still be many fans placing a bet on boxing who write off the British fighter’s hopes without really looking into the fight. But the Bellew camp won’t mind about that, and there is a real confidence the 30-year old could do the business against Stevenson and finally become a world champion.
“We have received confirmation that Stevenson must fight Bellew next, and the negotiation period will be 28 days after which the fight will go to purse bids. At that point the fight becomes real,” revealed Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
“He’s worked really hard to get to that mandatory position and all you read or hear is ‘Stevenson will fight Tavoris Cloud or Bernard Hopkins’. So we wrote to the WBC and said we’d had two final eliminators basically, so we thought Bellew should be next and after they had their meetings they agreed.”