I do not like Bellew but when I saw the short promotional montage of Tony fighting for this world title fight at his beloved Football team I had to support him.

Tony Bellew won the vacant WBC world cruiserweight title on this day in 2016 with a third-round knockout of Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park.

The Liverpudlian, then 33, recovered after being knocked down in the opening round to seal a world title at the third attempt after previous bids against Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson had ended in defeat.

Bellew, a staunch Everton fan, got the chance to fight for the belt after reigning champion Grigory Drozd vacated it due to injury.

It looked like Congolese Makabu was set to stun a partisan crowd after sending the home favourite to the canvas with just 10 seconds remaining in the first round.

But Bellew regained his composure in the second despite a broken nose and delivered a barrage of left hooks in the third that floored Makabu, with the referee intervening.
It was a glorious moment for Bellew, who said later: “He broke my nose with that left hand. I’m talking through my nose now and it’s smashed to bits.

“But I have a green and gold belt. If you had to take my nose off my face for that belt I’d take it.”

A crowd of around 15,000 cheered their local hero to victory in the first ever boxing show at Goodison.

Bellew successfully defended his title the following October by knocking out American BJ Flores in three rounds before stepping up to heavyweight to settle his rivalry with David Haye.

Haye was stopped by Bellew in both encounters at the O2 Arena in London, the first in the 11th round in 2017 and then in the fifth in the rematch in 2018.

Bellew returned to cruiserweight to take on former undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk in November 2018, but was knocked out in the eighth round and announced his retirement in the ring after his third professional defeat.