• Light-heavyweight

Bellew wants dream Goodison bout

ESPN staff
March 21, 2013

Everton fan and light-heavyweight star Tony Bellew has admitted that he would rather fight at Goodison Park than in Las Vegas.

Reigning Commonwealth champion Bellew faces Isaac Chilemba in his hometown Liverpool on March 30, in a bid to gain a title shot at WBC champion Chad Dawson.

And 'The Bomber', a lifelong Blue, would welcome a fight at his beloved Goodison Park, but only if he becomes a world champion first.

"My ultimate dream is to fight at Goodison Park; it's never been done before," Bellew told the Daily Mail. "You can have 40,000 people there and stick a ring on the pitch and it would be a dream come true.

"I'd rather fight at Goodison Park than in Las Vegas but I've got to become a world champion before that's possible."

Bellew, 30, claims that he would put his life on the line in the ring, and is focused ahead of his bout with Chilemba despite knowing that some of his Everton heroes will be watching from the Echo Arena crowd.

"Some people see this as a 50/50 fight but in my eyes, I'm going to hurt [Chilemba] him," Bellew said.

"When I go into a boxing ring, I'm willing to die. Is he willing to go that far?

"The players are all friends. They watch me fight and they'll be there a week on Saturday. I've got it out of my head that they're superstars; they're just normal guys who happen to be good at kicking a ball.

"Nobody else is linked to the club like I am. I wear the badge on my shorts and they look after me; from the chairman to the gaffer to the coaches and physios.

"I train at the club twice a week because they have the best facilities like air pressure machines, hydrotherapy pools and ice baths. They have every possible thing for hill running, explosive running, boxing and plyometrics."

With Premier League footballers constantly criticised for demanding high wages, Bellew was quick to defend the hard-working ethics of many who ply their trade in English football's top flight.

"Everybody goes on about their inflated wages but that money has got to go somewhere and I'd rather it went to the players on the pitch than people in the stands with a shirt and tie," Bellew said.

"Make no mistake about it, nobody gives you nothing for nothing, you have to work hard to get what you want. Those guys have worked hard to be professional footballers and have mastered their trade.

"Normal athletes couldn't do what Premier League football players can do."

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