Recently it has been announced that current British Light-Heavyweight Champion Tony Bellew is to return to the ring, following his world title challenge defeat against Nathan Cleverly, when he meets Norwich’s former European Light-Heavyweight Champion Danny McIntosh at the Echo Arena in Bellew’s home city of Liverpool on the 14th April.
This fight would be McIntosh’s second tilt at the prestigious Lonsdale Belt, which is now held by Liverpool's Bellew, following a seventh round stoppage loss against the unbeaten Cleverly at York Hall in London back in July 2009.
McIntosh makes his own return to the ring since losing his European title against Germany’s Eduard Gutknecht in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in May last year.
Purse bids to the matchup was won by Dave Coldwell, formerly involved with David Haye and Adam Booth's Hayemaker Promotions, sent a clear message that Coldwell is going to be a long term force on the British scene.
It is a crossroads fight for both men with McIntosh, who is also a former English title holder, looking to establish his reputation as a top level domestic fighter at Light Heavyweight, while Bellew is pushing not only to win a Lonsdale Belt outright but potentially to fight the winner of Gutknecht and former WBA title challenger Vyacheslav Uzelkov, which is scheduled to happen this coming weekend in Hessen, Germany.
In terms of opposition faced, Bellew has the advantage over McIntosh having fought Cleverly at World level, in comparison to McIntosh who only fought Cleverly for the British and Commonwealth titles. Bellew lost on points in comparison to McIntosh being stopped in the seventh round.
Bellew has also twice defeated two time Commonwealth champion Ovil McKenzie, first on an eighth round stoppage after being dropped twice in the first two rounds of the fight before rallying to stop McKenzie. In the rematch, Bellew displayed his amateur pedigree in taking a wide and dominant points decision.
Bellew also holds a win over current English titleholder Bob Ajisafe, when Bellew held the Commonwealth strap.
For McIntosh, the biggest names on his record are Thierry Karl of France, who McIntosh stopped in the eleventh round when behind on the cards and current European Champion Gutknecht, to whom he lost his title to.
Also on McIntosh’s record is a win over Matthew Barney, a former British Super-Middleweight Champion and British title challenger Steve Spartacus of Bury St Edmunds.
Come fight night at the Echo Arena, Bellew, looking to cement his status as the Light-Heavyweight on the domestic scene in front of his fans and knowing at the very least a European title shot could up for grabs, will start strong and implement his superior amateur pedigree and power on McIntosh and it will be likely that Bellew will retain his title with a late stoppage win.