• Light-heavyweight

Fired-up Bellew 'willing to die in the ring'

ESPN staff
March 27, 2013
Tony Bellew will go to great lengths to beat Isaac Chilemba this weekend © PA Photos

Tony Bellew has insisted he is 'willing to die in the ring' in order to beat Isaac Chilemba in their light-heavyweight meeting on Saturday.

Bellew, the current WBC silver champion, believes that Chilemba may be the best opponent he has faced in his professional career to date - no little praise, considering he has previously fought WBO world champion Nathan Cleverly - but is adamant he is willing to go to any lengths in order to win the bout in Liverpool.

Bellew believes that hunger, along with his height and power advantage, will ultimately prove the difference between the two men.

"I'm willing to go anywhere, to go to any level [to win]. I'm willing to die in that ring," Bellew said. "He's going to feel something he's never felt before.

"He'll see Saturday. I'm willing to die in that ring. I will go to any length. Is he? We'll see Saturday night."

The Englishman added: "When he gets in the ring, he's going to understand that he's in the ring with someone bigger than him, stronger than him. He might have a little bit of speed on me but I will make him pay for any mistake he makes.

"He's probably the most well-rounded boxer I've ever faced. He ticks an awful lot of boxes on paper. But it's one thing watching me on tape, it's another getting in the ring and fighting me.

"I am keeping this title, it is as simple as that. This belt of mine is not going anywhere."

Chilemba, 25, has fought almost all of his 22 professional fights (20 of which he has won) outside his native Malawi, and insists the partisan atmosphere he is likely to experience at the Echo Arena will affect Bellew more than him.

"I think I would be under pressure, with everyone around me expecting me to do well, because I would not want to disappoint these people," Chilemba noted. "He is the one who is under pressure."

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