Tony Bellew cemented his place on the World stage with an impressive stoppage win over Edison Miranda in a knockout night at ‘London Calling’ at the Alexandra Palace, north London live on Sky Sports.
Bellew stuck to his game plan and ignored the experienced Colombian’s showmanship to step on the gas in the eighth round, rocking the 31 year old before stopping him in the next thanks with a cracking body shot seeing Miranda no longer want to continue.
A cagey opening round soon gave way to action in the second stanza as Miranda showed the power Bellew had said made him the most dangerous fighter he’s faced to date in his career, and one with almost double the rounds boxed as the Liverpool man.
Bellew contained that power in the opening half of the fight and then turned up the heat in the already sweltering north London venue in the rounds that followed, moving through the gears but still applying caution against the big puncher Miranda until he took the WBC International title with a blitz in the ninth that he believes takes him into the elite.
“Only A-list guys beat Edison Miranda so what does that make me?” said Bellew. “He's proven World class. I don't know how good I am but I work hard and I improve all the time. I have been asking for this type of fights for a long time and we should be seeing more names of Edison's calibre coming to the UK to fight me.
“I’m 50/50 about tonight, I got the end result I wanted so I'm happy with that. The game plan was to make him miss in the first four rounds then make him miss and make him pay after.
"It was a bit rough in the first four rounds but I stuck to the once he started to tire and I started to hit him with punches. The gaffer gave me a telling off in the corner going into the last round and I stepped it up, landed the left hook and went downstairs – you've never seen Miranda's belly-button in his career and now you know why.
“People go on about my chin and saying I've been down - but I get up and it's what I do when I get up that counts, I will never, ever stop.”
If Bellew confirmed his spot at World level in the light heavyweight division, then Lee Purdy is on the right path to claim a place in the same company in the welterweights after a brilliant fourth round demolition of previously unbeaten Argentine Gumersindo Carrasco in four frenetic rounds to win the IBF International title.
On paper it promised to be an explosive affair and as with all Purdy fights it certainly disappoint, with the Colchester man hitting his straps in an electric opening, dropping the visitor in the first round. Carrasco came with a formidable 13 KOs from his 16 wins but the threat was all in the gloves of Purdy who matched his trademark willingness to throw leather with an ever-improving defence and an intensity that paid off when hard-hitting rounds two and three took their toll on Carrasco.
Purdy floored him in the fourth with a big right in the fourth and refused to let him off the hook, a body shot scoring a second knockdown before the referee stepped in with Purdy pinning the Argentine on the ropes and not letting him go.
It was a night of knockout drama in north London with Erick Ochieng successfully defending his English light middleweight title, growing into a battle with southpaw Ryan Toms to stop the Middlesex man in the fifth.
Chris Evangelou and Danny Cassius Connor served up a classic in the show closer live on Sky Sports, with Connor landing the Southern Area light welterweight title on points, with a rematch surely on the cards after a thoroughly entertaining tussle.
Former Team GB man Martin J. Ward made an impressive debut winning every round of his pro bow, while Kal Yafai, John Ryder and Wadi Camacho all scored stoppage wins.
A full undercard report will be released later today.