Episode Eleven: Tony Bellew video transcript

Go, Go, Go,
I’m a bad man
Yeah buddy
What’s causing all this
I shook up the world
I am that damn good!

Radzi: Hello and welcome to making gains with me Radzi today's guest by the way is an absolute belter but first this wouldn't be possible were it not for the people this show comes in association with I’m talking about Finnebrogue Naked Bacon, the biggest revolution to happen to British breakfast in a generation and the University of Derby where they make it real. Now today's guest is frankly a sports legend, he is not only a brand-new author he is the former WBC cruiserweight champion of the world and star of blockbuster smash Creed, Tony Bellew, welcome to making gains sir.

Tony: How are you? Pal I’m okay thanks Radzi thanks for having me.

Radzi: Mate thank you very much for your time and obviously we're coming to you now from your very, very lavish house, but I met you say 25 years ago when you've just been expelled from school, could we go right back to then because that's a very different tone of value to the guy now.

Tony: Err It is it's completely different and that was just a fat kid with dreams uh back then it was being thrown out of school and as I said mate literally fat kid with dreams who is everyone thought was, was an absolute lunatic and a maniac and thought he talked nonsense and look what I am now. It's worked out all right everything I said that they have done so yeah back to Portland Road in Wavertree me mum's still there yeah so yeah, good times mate, good times.

Radzi: And I think you've now written you your own book and one of my absolute best friends is Chris Lloyd who works for Matchroom and does stuff with Darren as well and he was of telling me a little bit about the book and what he said is that it's not just about boxing, this is about almost lessons for life is what you were kind of explaining it to him as being.

Tony: Definitely it's not an autobiography, Chris is an absolute diamond by the way absolutely fantastic at his job and he's been a brilliant addition to our Matchroom table so I love working with him with him and Darren Barker, Darren when I see Darren, I can't help but smile and Chris is that Chris is the Batman the Robin, their Batman and Robin between the two of them or Del boy and Rodney, but the two of them are fantastic I think they really are, so I love working with them. Uh yeah, it's just a book it's not an autobiography because you know I just didn't think it was the right time to do or anything like that so it's more of the lessons I’ve learned through fighting and boxing, and I’ve picked up along the way and also you know the hardships I’ve been through the numerous jobs I’ve had throughout my life all to subsidize that dream of one day being you know world championship boxer so that's all they were just pursuits and jobs that that helped pave the way for where to finally go to in the end.

Radzi: The title of the book is ‘everyone has a lesson until they get punched in the face’ the famous kind of Mike Tyson quote without the profanity, talk talking about the lessons if we do specifically boxing, like what I’d love to talk to you about is actually your loss to Adonis Stevenson so 2013. So, boil yourself down for that anyone who knows boxing knows that if you're going to reduce that amount of weight your ability for punch resistance goes through the floor, so what do you do the moment you're in the ring and you take a right cross from him, and it hurts what how do you keep to your plan then?

Tony: Do you know what it was I knew going into the fight what I was getting into, and I knew 72 hours before that it was it was a mission impossible would making weight safely, so I made the weight on the day by the skin of my teeth, I made it smack bang on 175 pounds, not an ounce under, not an ounce over smack bang on the weight yeah and I was just so relieved that I’ve made weight but then you go into there with a mental approach of once I’ve made weight every fight is the same thing after I’ve done the hard part the fight is going to be easy because we train so hard the fight can never be as hard as the actual training beforehand so it wasn't stuff I think and I could win but you know it was quite evident after 20 seconds I had about three minutes of good fighting in me for the 36 minute bout and it's just you have to accept it sometimes, he was better skilled than me the better man won, I don't make any excuses you know everyone will say yes I was boiled down and which I was but ultimately I just lost the better man I’m someone who doesn't make excuses it was hard to accept but that's just the way it rolled.

Radzi: You're a football man obviously, you love football, it's one thing to go in there against Barcelona and say well we took a highland but we walk away honesty intact. After those 20 seconds and you think it's gonna be a tough day at the office, do you just accept that it's just gonna hurt? do you think right I’m gonna have to throw the game plan out the window like what actually goes to your head at that point?

Tony: I never ever thought about pain as being a problem, I never thought taking punishments has ever been initially I’ve never been its I enjoy fighting that's yeah, I just I like fighting I’ve gone I’ve got a screw loose I can openly admit it but so there's loads of other people they just don't want to admit it. Yeah, I’ve got you know I’m a bit tapped in the head because I enjoy fighting, I don't mind taking a punch as long as I can give one back. I’m not going to sit here and say you know I love getting punched in the face I’m you know what's a bit of a lie, I actually miss getting punched in the face to be honest yeah but I miss punching them a lot more than this so if someone said to me you know you can you can take two right now and you can give one back I’d probably take that I’d probably have a bit of that to be honest because I’ve missed it that much but uh I just i went in with that fight and me mental approach was so I was so driven and so strong I thought I’ll find a way to get through it when I get to work for my three minutes I’ve just got to make them count and I have my three minutes and I think it was the third or the fourth round when I put him over and that was me done I couldn't get rid of him and that was just the end of me you know he's a really good fighter really strong but as people seen as I go on and I go to my you know original weight which is a cruiserweight division I’m virtually you know unbeatable at that weight I felt absolutely fantastic until then I make the mistake of then jump into heavyweight and then going in with the big monster that is David Haye and then I go too heavy again and then coming back down to the old way it's a catch-22 but listen I’ve had a fantastic career I I’ve lived out me wildest dreams I’ve seen them through you know and I’m just so happy and I’m pleased that it all worked out well in the end and as I say very fortunate to get out one piece uh financially secure and just enjoying life you know I love watching boxing now breaking it down analysing the fighters looking at the pros and the cons and the negatives and the pluses and what's his weakness against his strength I enjoy doing that side of things I just missed getting and actually doing it.

Radzi: And mate one of my favourite fights you're involved in - Goodison Park 2016. Makabu. First, let's say of the first three minutes, two minutes 45 seconds you're thinking ”Tony is on this, flipping, he's all over it.” Then you get caught hard mate, backwards roll on the floor. What the hell is going through your head then?

Tony: You're the first person who's ever judged that fight right because everyone just thinks I've been knocked down the first round and that’s it. No one ever said that before which I was, I was so on top in the first round, I'm giving it to him, I'm picking my part, I'm so confident. And you're the only gentleman - that's exactly how I was going but I got, as my coach said at the end of the first round, I got greedy. I switched off and I was going for the finish too early doors and he hits me with this left hand. I knew how dangerous Ilunga Makabu was going into that fight. I knew he was the most avoided cruiserweight in the world but it was my only chance I was gonna get at the WBC title. It was my only opportunity I was ever going to get at that belt, the belt I've dreamed of since I was a kid and I had to take it so you know, when he catches me in the face on he snaps me nose and puts me on me back and I roll over. I'm surprised the gymnastic judge just wasn't there putting up 10 10 10 for the roll it was that good. Yeah I go over on my back and I get up. I've got very strong legs underneath me, I was in amazing shape physically even though I had a bad injury in the fight I was in amazing shape you know I could have I could have done 20 rounds that night and I really believed that King Kong wouldn't have beaten me on that night of goodness and parked it. It was just the surroundings, the atmosphere, everything was amazing. And I found a way to you know just get off the floor but believe you me I I've never ever been as nervous for the fight in my life as I was for that fight at Goodison park. It meant so much to me.

Radzi: You can see that when you come out, when you actually walk out, like obviously you're normally you're focused but there's there's a sense that this is a boyhood dream here, this is “I'm torn between I want to drink this in but I've got the biggest fight of my life ahead of me.”

Tony: That's exactly how I was. I had so many things rushing through my mind and I was, I was trying to, I was trying to enjoy it but control myself and also stay focused on the game plan. All three things are rushing through your mind and you can literally see me on the ring walk, the little bit where I'm enjoying it, the little bit when I’m focusing on the game plan, and then the nasty part of me that comes in when I look at his eyes. There's three different parts of charge that I'm charged with there so yeah it was just whenever I think of boxing now I think back to that first and foremost, the greatest night in my career by a mile.

Radzi: Do you remember what Adam said to you at the end of that first round?

Tony: Dave, little legs, the little leg says to me, that's what I've always called them, yeah I'll get back into, I don't remember anything by the way of the sec at the end of the second half, like I thought after the fight I was concussed that bad I thought I knocked him out in the second so the second round is completely blank to my mind. I have to watch that back on video to even understand that there was a second round, I don't know in my mind there was. So at the end of the first I've got back on, I know I've just been knocked out, I've gone sitting on the stool and Dave's talking but I got nothing coming into my head. Like nothing could I'm not absorbing any of it I just I'm just thinking “I've been knocked down, I've been knocked down, I've got to get it that's right I've got to think I've got to finish I've got to finish him.” Because after I stood, you know I knew he was a fighter that usually starts slow but gets stronger and stronger as the rounds go on. He only gets better as the fight goes on so I knew I had to get rid of him in the first six rounds otherwise he's only gonna get stronger. So after the disastrous start like this I was thinking “wow what am I going to do?” At the last 15 20 seconds I remember Dave, or it might have been the start of it, he just I remember him screaming “You got greedy, you got greedy” in that Yorkshire penetrating Leeds Sheffield voice that just that was to be the sound of memory “you got greedy” and he just he screamed and shouted and I thought “I know I'm greedy I was fat as a kid I already know I’m greedy mate so you so don't need to remind me thank you.” And when I have to say I actually thought it was the third round but actually it was the second round that I got him in. It was only later on I found out it was the third round because I was completely concussed, I don't know what they've said to me at the end of the second. It's a blank memory but he obviously gave me very good advice because I went out in the third round and rendered Ilunga Makabu unconscious.

Radzi: Do you remember your son coming into the ring afterwards? Because there's an amazing moment where he gets in and you go from boxer to dad in an instant. You just become really gentle and I thought that pretty much sums you up. He's in in the ring you're an animal, but out of it you're a family man.

Tony: Definitely. I didn't I still look back and and I don't think children have any place at boxing events because dangerous and bad things can happen at boxing events so I've never had any of my children there. It was just that Corey was 10 years old, at the time he was my eldest son, he is my eldest son sorry, and I was just I needed one of my children to be there to say “I was there the night my dad won the world - I knew I was going to win it that night, I know the bookies had wrote me off and I was a massive underdog

Radzi: Yeah.

Tony: I know a lot of trainers throughout the country have picked a Ilunga Makabu to beat me, a lot of journalists and analysts that picked Ilunga Makabu to beat me. He used me nightmare opponents, he was a short heavy-handed southpaw he was basically a carbon copy of Adonis Stevenson…

Radzi: Right.

Tony: …with another two stone of muscle on him. So I understood why everyone was picking him to beat me but at the same time I just would not be denied the Goodison. So I wanted my son to be there and then when I see his little face, his pretty little boy, he looks like his mother, I just me heart sinks I think back to it now and it just makes me feel emotional and thinking “wow we done it”.

Radzi: How crucial is Dave Caldwell in your corner throughout the fight because you talk about it being, often say it's the loneliest place in the world but between rounds you have that one minute and it you see it breaks some people, it makes some people.

Tony: For me it's not so much the advice in the corner. It's just having Dave, someone I can trust and someone I can, I can rely on. So Dave is a brilliant coach, he was you know without Dave Caldwell I would not have become world champion.

Radzi: Okay.

Tony: So I’d genuinely believe that. I’m not going to say reinvented the star because when he got me I was a really good fighter. You know I was fighting at a good level, I’d been in world title fights before but he didn't, he added to me game, he gave me more tools, he gave me more weapons to use in the ring. He massively improved me defence, he must even you know, he he made me realise the importance of relaxation in a boxing ring when you're in the midst of a hard fight so under Dave Caldwell there was no more tense loading up heavy shots anymore. It was more of violent chess that's how I like to that's all I like to put boxing forward and and I thought a lot more in fights. I was happy to let someone else win around now and again never in my career would I thought I’d have said that I’m happy to let you win a round because I know I’m coming back stronger. I’m gonna have this round off I’m gonna take a breather but the next five rounds after this you're gonna pay for winning that one round and it was that kind of mind set that it changed the way I thought, the way I boxed you know. The pivotal fight actually in fact in mine and Dave’s career for me I think was the European title fight against Matthias Masternach at the O2 the night that Dillian fought AJ and I was the chief supporter, and that was the the coming of age fight for me because Matthias Masternach was a former European champion, a former world title challenger. He had 40 odd fights, 36 when he had more knockouts than I’d had that fights. Um we're in the fight and and it's a genuine 50 50 to bookies some of them favoured Masternach from some ponder to pick a Masternach to beat me. Um I go out in and dominate Masternach for like seven rounds and then I switch off for three and then the last two are come out big because Dave reads the right activity in the corner, he shows a strong sense of character and he really gives it to me and that was the first time in our career with me coach really reads the right attack to me and he needed to do it at that time just to drag it out to me, to get the best out of me so I said that's a pivotal moment for us not in our career uh, me and Dave and as I’ve said before he's a fantastic coach, I think he's the best professional boxing coach in the country. I think he, I think he's that good he's, so he's so he's got a brilliant eye for it, he's experienced different fighters at different times so he's worked with David Hayward. He was at the peak of his powers, he's worked with the likes of Ryan Rhodes, he's worked with likes of Cal Brooke, he's worked with me, Jamie McDonald, he's worked with numerous world champions at all different levels and you know he made me world champion. You know, they've got me when I went to Dave, I was just a British Commonwealth former champion, we became European champion on Dave’s watch and we won that WBC world title and then also won massive major box off events you know huge, huge big bills against the likes of David Haye, uh and we went up against the very best cruiserweight that's ever lived in Alexander 2601 and you know I’m happy to say that although I lost I surprised an awful lot of people with how close, well I was ahead but how close I pushed him and how good we could actually be if I was only able to hold off for three or four more rounds and win the fight but ultimately I wasn't unlost once again to the greatest fight I ever faced.

Radzi: What's really interesting, what you're saying about Dave is the fact that for me one of your biggest weapons is upstairs and even when you break down fights, I remember Fury comes back, I think he's fought Soferi at this point and then you've gone in the next six months I’ll fight him and you're not, it's not an ego thing you're not saying I’ll just knock him out, it's I’ve assessed the situation what he can bring to the table, I’ll be able to negate as long as his fitness isn't at X point the same with Deontay Wilder after he hugs you during, you're doing an interview for Sky Sports you just went that's not going to happen, he said, he said he wrapped his arms around me twice and you're, you're just really honest like have you always had that kind of honest assessment of yourself and your kind of levels.

Tony: I just, I don't I don't think I’m anything special, see a lot of fighters can't be honest like that like I was quite honest and saying as soon as wilder hugged me I knew he was too big like he literally hugged me and his arms were around the whole of my body and I was just like a boy to him and I thought nope I don't need that. I when, me and Fury met when David pulled out of the rematch, me and Tyson Fury met at Haydock racecourse and we sat down and we talked and he was like “Tone, you know I haven't fought for three years I need the warm-up bout” and I was like you can't have a warm-up and he was like well Tone I’ve got to have a warm- up he said if I don't have a warm-up you've got a chance of beating me. I said that's the whole point I said if you have a warm-up I’m finished, I’ve got no chance but if I get you rusty and you're out of shape I’ve got a chance of chilling you and he just laughed but he was honest and we shook hands and we agreed everything was only had he that stopped that fight happening, but I’m just honest I would say I just I just don't see the point in being on the bush, just tell people what you think you know. I think this fighters out there right now that I have beat so people say to me why don't you come back because I can't be the best and that's the only reason I’m retired. I the 12-week camps would hurt me but I would I would train differently to, to make sure I get to the end of the camp but when it comes to fights I would beat 90 percent of these cruiserweights now but I couldn't be under speedy champion because I just couldn't do it, it's just it's just not there my body couldn't hold up and take it anymore so that's why I’ve retired. As I said this fight like I’m pretty confident saying I’ll come back right now be Joseph Parker no problem. The performance I’ve seen from him that would not be an issue but what, what, what is the point of coming back and facing Joseph Parker and beating him because I can't be a heavyweight champion in the world that's why I wanted to face him because I knew I could beat him. I always knew I could beat Joseph Parker. Styles make fights and if I want to become hard to hit and make myself you know really awkward I can do that. I’ve got them attributes to do it. I’m much quicker than him, you know he might punch harder than me but he'd be surprised at my power when I hit him as David Hayes was so but well I say what's the point of coming back just to be Joseph Parker there's no point at all because he's not if he was heavy weight champion of the world I wouldn't have retired I would because AJ beat me to it. AJ knew I talked to them and AJ knew I met him in Manchester, uh after the Haye fight and I was gonna me and Joseph Parker were close to happening. He had to get through the huge fight and AJ got word that I’d met with him and we were looking at doing it and AJ thought what I’ve got to get him quick and agent he took him and got him and beat him fair and square.

Radzi: So if that fight with AJ hadn't happened or in fact could you would you have ever stepped in the ring with AJ?

Tony: No I’ve never stepped in with AJ. No chance he's just too big too good, too strong, too young, everything, too fresh. He just I couldn't compete with a man of his size and his stature, not a chance at all I would never fight him anyway, we've always got on I’m being quite tight. I always support him he always supported me. I really like AJ an absolute bad end of a man and made the game so much bigger in this country, people don't give him the credit that he deserves. If there was no AJ in boxing, boxing wouldn't have blown up the way it. Did after the 2012 Olympics boxing goes to another level, never be, never before did we see boxing in stadiums on a regular basis you know this guy started filling out the Millennium, he starts filming Wembley, you know he starts he gets box office back booming and it just it brings everything back to the table and you know people don't give them that. I was I’m one of the ones who will just say it as it is you know, he's done amazing, he's brilliant but he did pick me to Joseph Parker, so I’ll always hold that against them.

Radzi: The big one for me is actually talk about not getting credit Eddie Hearn. Eddie Hearn taking boxing from relative doldrums to just now it's a conversation that's happening around the world all the time and whether it is Canelo, Saunders, whether it is Chisora Parker it's now it's big business.

Tony: It's huge and I I’ve said touched on this before. We've already hands down for boxing when I went with my team with matron and I became and I became joined forces with them, boxing was taking place in leisure centres right with 1500 people and that's where the majority of the shows were. Yes I’ve had a couple of fights in stadiums like the echo of inappropriate for big fights but ultimately boxing have lost its core fan base because many years ago boxing was in stadiums you know Nazim Hamad was flying the flag. We had Ricky Hatton filling the MEN every month and all the other fighters that were flying in and amongst it was great but then Ricky goes and it just everything just slows down and before you know we're back in leisure centres and it wasn't good, you know, it wasn't good at all at the end comes along it takes a while you know he doesn't do it, oh it's not a flip of the switch and it's an overnight job but he builds the stable slowly and the trust is there with him and the fighters because the most important thing at the end is honest right. That’s the top and bottom everything it's almost what he's what he tells you gain, you get, what he is, who he is, what he says, he's going to do, he does and they were the biggest part for me. Uh of Jordan unfortunately because I had been part of something that I didn't see was fair on my side and it was really, really hard getting through it so once I joined force with them there was no looking back and he's been a massive party being literally the catalyst of white boxing is where it is today.

Radzi: And one of the biggest fights currently is happening at the weekend Billy Joe with Canelo. I saw in a public workout in London just outside the Apple shop it was when Triple G was fighting Kell Brook and I remember hearing Triple G hit one of the pads and everyone like the third everyone the fact that Triple G laid a right cross on Canelo and it didn't get him out of there, what the hell is Billy Joe gonna do to do this?

Tony: It's hard Mate, you know it's literally Mount Everest of boxing challenges it's right up there. He's so, he's so hard to beat on. I’ve looked at it this weekend and studied both. I know Billy Joe from GB days. I’ve been around the world with Billy, Billy's a diamond, a lot a brilliant boxer the only thing Billy does better than Canelo is his footwear. You know both of them are amazing, defensively skilled fighters that make no mistake that Canelo is every bit as hard to hit as Billy Joe's but they use different techniques of defence to use that. Canelo stands in front here and makes you miss by making slip and slide and moving the body. Billy makes you miss by using the legs, he skips around the ring he danced as he moves. So they’re two completely different ways of defence. One thing I will say is Canelo's will tire someone twice as fast as Billy Joe's will because Canelo's right in front here so the pressure and the fear of a man being that close all the time and he's gonna hit you back, that's zaps and drains and energy quicker whereas because Billy Joe's moving on he's always out of range and when you're out of range you don't really have to focus much, being the being the other fighter so when I have four guys who have been basically runners, it's you never get tired because you just step on the ring off cutting them down walking them down but if a guy's in front of you right here and there and he's still making you miss you you're constantly switched on you know you've got to think about what you're doing. It's faint, it's body shots, it's this, it's that, well as I said when they're further away there's nothing to worry about, so that's Billy Joe in my opinion. I think the only way he wins, excuse me, on Saturday night is, he goes in there and and he looks at the Eddis Landing fights against Canelo and it's a long time ago but it's still there you know he's a slick cell pod he probably hits a little bit harder than BillyJoe but he's also a nice boxer he has to draw Canelo in and make him miss um, and try and frustrate him which is it's very very hard to do. I’ve labelled Canelo these last couple of weeks as the Thanos of boxing. He literally takes everything that's great from these guys and then uses it against them so the only loss of his career is against Floyd Mayweather. This guy lost against Floyd Mayweather and then all the things that Floyd Mayweather done to him in that fight he then does to everybody else he makes them mis. He slips, he slides, he rolls, he bangs you up a few times, he uses a speed as his advantage. It's insane that he's unified three different championship weights. It's iconic it's mind-boggling, you know he's being the undisputed light heavyweight champion, he's been the only super middleweight champion, the undisputed middleweight champion, undisputed, well he just he just it's crazy Radzi to see what this guy's doing so I don't necessarily know how he's gonna lose. It's just I’m trying to put him in place a scenario where he gets frustrated and he loses his rag a bit, which which I don't think he will if I’m being totally honest I think he'll, he, he'll respect Billy Joe early doors and he'll have a look at him and he'll take his time but once it gets to rounds four, five and six, you will start see Canelo turn it on. He just you'll flip a switch and he can just go through the gear so easily. I thought his biggest tackle is Callum Smith, purely because of the size. Callum is six foot four.

Radzi: How is he how does he weigh so little mate I don't know how it happened. He's an enormous human being.

Tony: Yeh Callum is just six foot four super middleweight. He's monstrous size but Canelo went in and bullied him, literally man handled them and just pushed them back made themselves throw hardwoods as I said before what Floyd Mayweather done to him, he now does to others. Floyd Mayweather when he left he game was the greatest counterpuncher of the games ever seen that's what Floyd’s greatest strengths were, he was able to make you miss and make you pay. Canelo is that probably the best defensive fighter of all time and now was somebody who would just make you miss and make you look absolutely stupid. His combinations with Daz Lundy was slick, he was an amazing champion but Pinel just made people miss right, Floyd, Floyd’s took that to a bit of another level when it was like make the miss then make them pay with dazzling combinations and hitting people. Pinel just pop up want to or sometimes he would do just shut up shop or sometimes he would slip and slide, we could be so if you ever watch him against Oscar De La Hoya, it's like a magician facing a matador it's just it's unbelievable what, what Pinel could do but as I said with with time and boxing evolves the fighters get better .They're able to do different things and as athletes now they're so much better than they were many years ago and they have so many so much more less fights that they're able to put their bodies through so much more in training camps, they are able to expend so much more when it comes to actual fight night. You've got to remember the old days these guys were fighting ten five five ten times a year to create the legends you know Sugar Ray Robinson was fighting once a month or once a fortnight, once a week sometimes. It's crazy to think so with time last and as the sport evolves you see people just get better, better athletes so Floyd is in is an improved version of Pinel Whittaker for me but now what Canelo's doing he's taking another level a step ahead of the Floyd because although he lost to Floyd, he's taken so many things from that loss that he's put them into his game there now he they've become his attributes this is why I label him Thanos he just needs a ring and a cast on all the stones on his knuckles but he's, he's doing things that are just unbelievable and he's not just doing them at people who are of a similar size, he's doing it against guys who were giants.

Radzi :It's yeah that that for me is the most impressive bit because on the paper you might go well Billy Joe's got two, two inch height advantage but yeah he dealt with a lot bigger than that yeah just a couple of months ago. The other fight I’ve got to talk to you about is AJ Fury, can I just ask so were you actually good mates with Tyson and when did that end? Did it even ever end because I remember my mate actually interviewed Fury in that famous line when he talks about you and David Price, that was my mate he wasn't even into boxing and he's there with a hospital pass going go on get a couple of minutes from Tyson and he's just going right.

Tony: I don't want him he's got the shock of his life yeah. You know what I’ve always gone on with Tyson. I’ve got nothing but respect for Tyson Fury. He doesn't probably feel the same about me because I’ve supported AJ Joshua, so I don't know. It's an opinion that's the uh and opinions are like backsides everyone's got one ,so you know it's just got to take it on the chin and it doesn't mean I detect I think what he's gone through in his life is absolutely amazing. I think he's a brilliant role model for people out there struggling with mental health. I think it's fantastic that he's been very open and spoke about it but just because I think AJ beat him, it doesn't mean I think of him as any less of a man. I just think styles make fights. It's, it's like you know people out there have said their numerous occasions do you think I’m going to lose to someone and I’ve gone on beat them. The world thought David Haye was going to punch me from pillar to post, I didn't take a person I just think okay that's your opinion. It's up to me to prove you wrong and I don't know what it's with Tyson, you know it also might be the promotion outfit that we're part of, he feels like it does against them this is nothing this the boxing fraternity and what goes on in and amongst the boxing team it's a circus and when we all come to town with all parts of the circus it's as simple as that. You've just got to understand that once you can understand and accept that you'll be fine. He doesn't.

Radzi: One of the biggest factors for me in the fight is what weights each of them are going to come in at if your Fury what would you look to do would you look to try and outweigh him as he did in the wild or two or would you come in lighter and try and dance like you did against Klitschko?

Tony: I don't think it'll matter with Tyson Fury so much er, his weight isn't affected in the fight purely based on it, it's all about his style. So Tyson Fury has to come in there and I’ve seen the most recent comments of, I’m gonna get rid of you in three rounds, I’m gonna knock you out, you won't go past three. Well basically that's just mind games purely because he doesn't want Joshua to come out and go crazy trying to get rid of him in the first three. He wants AJ to come out and think I better be careful these first three he's been telling everybody he’s gonna knock me out once the first three rounds are over that's massive chunk of the fight gone with, with AJ can win in my opinion I think AJ's going to win but I think it has to be in them fair six if you don't figure Tyson out in them phase six you're in trouble because Tyson is an anomaly when it comes to boxing he's the unsolvable puzzle and, and if you can't get if you go past six rounds of them you ain't figuring them out he's tied you out after six, you're gonna be a bit slower a bit more lethargic and then he's just going to go to school and he's going to go to work, and that's what you can’t allow, you can't allow his mind games, you can't allow him to set traps for you with his mind and you cannot allow him to dictate the pace from the get-go, so he can't afford to be pushed back by Tyson Fury he's never going to push AJ back anyway that's not going to be his game plan. If he thinks he's going to face AJ the way he faced the answer while it's completely different ball game styles make fights and you know as I’ve said before the only way to beat Tyson Fury is to get on him early doors, when he's out, when he's at his weakest point and make him make mistakes and make him pay for them. Now Deontay wilder was able to make him pay in that fight but his lack of technical ability and skill is so dreadful that he's not able to capitalise on them and Anthony, if Anthony Joshua drops Tyson Fury the way Deontay Wilder did the fight's over because he is the most ruthless finisher since the plan Mike Tyson in the heavyweight division there hasn't been a finisher like AJ since Lennox and Tyson. They were the best finishers when they get guys here they take them out they take them apart and I think he will hurt Tyson Fury in the fight. I just think he will catch him, he will put him over and he will get the job done. He's a ruthless finisher as I said if it goes past six, it's it, I think he I don't think he can beat him, I really don't but this is the interesting thing in advice everybody thinks after you know Tyson Fury’s last performance against Deontay Wilder, everybody's raving on him and so they should because the win against the unsure is a brilliant victory but don't ever compare Deontay Wilder to a former Olympic champion and someone who knows what they've got to do.

Radzi: Mate would you ever go into coaching because like it just, it's so obvious with your ability to analyse and create strategies and predict it just seems like just an obvious thing?

Tony: I have been asked and I’ve said no. But I just purely because I’ve spent so much time away from my family that I’m just in a position now where I think I, I’ve been away for so long, why do I need to take because every time the fight's in the gym who's in there with them? The coach, right every time there’s a fight so you spend just as much time as the fighter there. Um it wouldn't necessarily be about money but it's just purely the time. It's just the time and you can't get the you know, time is something that you know everyone in the world don't value money as your greatest asset or thing time is the most important thing that we all have because it's the only thing in the world that we give away we cannot get back right. And I value me time so much these days, so I’d like to spend as much qualities out of my family as I can because for the last 20 years I haven't really been with them as much as I should have been because I’ve just been focusing on one fight to the other. I never took time to reflect on me career I just carried on fighting, it was always the next challenge, it was always about the next fight, always about pushing on and now when I’ve looked back I kind of regret that because I put boxing first for 20 years of me life, it came before me kids, came before my wife and I’m not ready to commit to life as a trainer and think I’ve got to put them first then so that's the reason I wouldn't do it I’m managing a few guys and I helped them out and you know I just want to help them teach them the things that I’ve learned first-hand and pass them over and then hopefully they pass them on through generations.

Radzi: But you say you're fighting for yourself and you've sort of been selfish but like to me at the heart of it there was a reason behind it and even the fact that you sent your family away ahead of the Haye fight I thought was telling because to me it was kind of speaking to I don't want you to go through all the circus that's inevitably going to happen and I don't want to have to personally deal with worrying about you because I’ve got a job to do and this is going to change our lives.

Tony: Yeah you're spot on and you're right there but I don't know it's just, I, I just always put a fair strategy so to me it's one of me regrets but yes that's just saying it was for them but ultimately you know, I, I went, I chased that world title for me. I had that dream since I was 15 years old, I wanted to be WBC world champions but that was my dream and I’ve dragged them all the way through it and it's come at a massive expense. I’ve missed my kids growing up, I’ve missed spending time with me my wife so much, my kids, my family but so does, this is why I talk about it in the book, so does 90% of guys going out there working nine to five Mondays to Friday or every day the week to spend so much time away from the family to provide for them. So it's there's little things in the book where we can go over and say well I’ve done this and I’ve done that to make up for the time or we would do this on certain days, planning ahead to make sure you, you, you know you use the time accordingly and I’m just right so you get time everywhere and I only learned that towards the end. At the start I was just so driven on getting better and getting better and getting better, training, training and training, that I just forgot about the family and before I knew it my eldest boys 10 and then you're just like, well how is he 10, where's it gone? And as I’ve said before the most important thing in life is time.

Radzi: Yeah.

Tony: It's not money, it's not, it's not anything materialistic, it's just purely the time. Make sure you spend time with your family and your kids because when it goes on to their next journey and when they create family of their own, I want them to remember I spent them times with my mum and dad, I spent this time and I want them to have their memories and you can't just fabricate them and make them up they've got to be spent and they've got to be in and that time has to be spent with them so that's the most important thing, you know one of the big things in the book.

Radzi: Wait with, with your book what came first was it the book and then you thought of lessons or did you always have those lessons in your head and you wanted to just put it into a book?

Tony: It was crazy because with the book, I mean obviously the title was something that everyone believes Mike Tyson said everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the face. It was actually the great the Brown Bomber Joe Louis who said the quote first.

Radzi: Yes, wow thank you for that.

Tony: So he said it first, Mike just made the famous that's all because when Mike says things, Mike, everybody listens but when the Brown Bomber said it first it was like okay well that's a really good point. I always, if it was an autobiography I would have called it ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” because I lived by that quote me whole career so that'll be tattooed on me, you know really well so I just me hopefully it was about that quote but for this I wanted this book to be something that people can look up on and go well what was your thinking when you were going to work in the pillow factory and what was your thinking when you're going to work in Next, what was you thinking when you're going to work on the building site and all them different jobs, what was the thing when I was working on nightclub doors, you know, what was I thinking when I was working as a lifeguard in the swim baths in the background it was all to subsidise this dream and becoming a world champion. Now not everybody's gonna have a dream of being a world champion but I don't think there's a person alive who doesn't want to better their situation in life. I don't think there's a person alive who doesn't want more than what they actually have right now, so there's ways of getting there and there's ways of getting that, there's ways of, of you know changing your mindset on things and that's what a massive part of the book. Is it's just, it's just confidence, certain things in your mind because you you should never be in a race with anybody else it should only be about you. Don't worry about what he's doing or what she's got or where he's going or where, where she's gonna be, just worry about what's going on with you because you can't change all them other things what other people are doing, you can only change what you're doing and that for me was the biggest thing, you know just focus on myself. I’m in a race with nobody else, I’m just purely up against myself. Can I be better today than I was yesterday and that's the biggest thing for me. It's it's a big, big part of the book as I say so yeah you know from the background I’ll come from, from Wavertree in Liverpool, it's just I’m a product of my environments I’ve been fighting since I was a kid. I love fighting. I love nothing more. In an ideal world I’d have been professional footballer for Everton football club, scoring 30 goals a year, wearing the number nine but we don't live in an ideal world, we live in the real world and in the real world Tony Bellow you was born amd I can fight anybody.

Radzi: What would you have done if you weren't a boxer?

Tony: Wow that is a question. I don't know, I genuinely don't know. I would have just continued to try and do something right and work hard. I’ve always liked the nicer things in life, when I was determined to get them, so I would have just worked or whatever it would have been fighting in one respect or another I don't know how but the way this UFC is now, I’d love to have competed in the mixed martial arts I’d love to because I kickboxed as a young child, I was not bad at my feet I just I’ve always, I’ve got a passion for fighting, as I’ve said to you before I’ve got a screw loose, I understand that, but it's just one of them things that we have certain attractions to. I adore football, football is me first love. I’m a mad Everton fan as everybody knows. I didn't choose them, they chose me you don't choose to be an Evertonian believe you me you're chosen, so it's just that was it after that I’m where I’m from you know expelled from school there was no way, there was no way done on a way out but what else was I going to do, you know I had last school with zero qualifications. Uh you've got no job you've got no hope and when you're telling people you're going to be world champion boxer and people are laughing at you thinking don't be ridiculous, no one from Wavertree has ever been a world champion, no one from Wavertree has even been a British champion, you fool just keep telling someone else your stories and before you know it me people everyone thinks you're Jack Anorey and you're telling stories so you just you've got to just stick by your goals. Everyone has dreams, everybody has goals, make your goals a little bit smaller and more achievable, not, not everyone can have a goal of 15 and go I’m going to be world champion. Okay, yes I did but I had hundreds of other little goals on the way. Me saying I’m going to become world champion at 15 yes it did but there was 20 steps along the way and I had to take off each one of them steps going along the way so it was to win a novice title, then it was to win an ABA title, then it was the box for England, then it was the box for Great Britain, then it's to go professional win a British title, commonwealth title, European title but all these steps keep ticking off and then when you get to the final step and you, I’ve won that world title everyone forgets about the 19 steps before that but it's been a long road. I didn't just wake up one morning and go I’m fighting the Goodson Park and that's it, it's a long road and you've just got to believe in the in the process and in the journey and that's me engages the attribute was I was never willing to give him.

Radzi: Well the thing is, so I come from a broken home, um not much money and if it wasn't for my mum I, I reckon I’d have been a world-class criminal, the way my brain works, I can arrange really brilliant things, but it's because of my mum. She made me, not make those decisions. I often think that guys who end up inside it's not they're not bad people all, it’s they made one bad, they stayed out an extra hour which led to a fight, which led to a criminal record, which when they got another fight that leaves them being inside, which leads to other things so I know exactly what you're talking about, about tiny things. It happens the reverse as well, one tiny decision the wrong way will eventually lead to a really bad situation, bad decision and I look at some of my if life had been different I could be speaking to you in HMP's finest and said here you are a made man, financially independent, family man, loyal man, adorned by lots of people, I mean what a flipping story mate.

Tony: It's crazy, thank you very much me. Me elder brother went to the University in Wolverhampton, so I’ve been to Wolverhampton a few times when my dad used to drive us up there and visit him. Uh so you've got that 100% spot on there. Life could be so much different and I’ve been close to getting to that part where I’ve got to make the right decision or the wrong decision. At numerous parts in my life sometimes I’ve actually made the wrong decision and it's got me into a bit of trouble but I’ve been able to turn that back around and go back the other way and change that and change what right change that wrong into a right. So it's just I think the biggest thing today is, is people are so eager and quick to give up on themselves. They don't want to see things too, you've just got to go that extra step and push yourself that little bit further. I keep trying to explain to me little boys now that and the best thing I’m struggling to get across them but I’m saying to them if you guys can enjoy working hard everything else will become easy so make working hard enjoyable, so when you want to go to the gym you work really hard. The gym trust me it's going to pay off in the long run when you're doing your schoolwork, work really hard, hard on the schoolwork because in the future everything that's hard, you will actually enjoy and I’m trying to get it. They're not having it but I’m trying my best to process it especially into me little boy who's eight now and playing for Everton now and I’m, I’m getting across him and the harder it is on the train and pitch me the easier it's going to be on the field at the game time, and he's like really Dad and I’m like I promise you if you work as hard as you possibly can every session, every transition it's going to be easier when you get to the game. And with me other boy, he’s now 15, also he's just like he thinks he knows more than me so there's no point in even trying with him. But me other boy he’s 12 year old. He plays rugby, uh he's, he's getting it because he's going to train and he's trying really hard. He's just so bloody big, that he's 12 years old, he's six foot and he's a size 12 shoe and he's, he's literally running through the training because he's trying hard and I’m trying to get it across to him but he's so big and strong for this age.

Radzi: Very plausibly I could be doing a podcast with him in 10 years time.

Tony: Fingers crossed. I just want them to be happy. I don't want my kids to be rocket scientists, don't want them to be the next fighter, I just want them to be happy. So you know they've been given great head starts all of them, er, four boys they say it takes a real man to have a girl. So I’m absolutely finished and I’m just gonna keep trying my best with them mate to try and be the best father I can be. They’ve already got the best mother they could wish for so I’ve just got to try and be the best father that I possibly can and then keep helping them and assisting them.

Radzi: Tony final question, we've mentioned a lot of boxers whether it's Joe Lewis, Purnell Whitaker people in the annals of boxing history, how would you like to be remembered as a boxer?

Tony: That's a question, how would I like to be remembered? Somebody who fought anybody, somebody who just took on the challenges like the whole world said I wouldn't face David hey the whole world said that I wouldn’t face Alexander, who said the whole world says I can't do this, someone who just never gave in. I didn't ever give up like I’ve never give up anything in my life. I can't quit. It's something that's in me Radzi bro I tried my best, you know people are gonna remember me the way they will remember me. Uh how I like to look back and think of myself is you've done all I could either way I’ve achieved them all right.

Radzi: Tony thank you so much for your time, it's been an absolute pleasure.

Tony: Thank you very much Radzi. Say hello to Chris for me as well.

Radzi: I will do. The guy's a legend.

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Episode Eleven: Tony Bellew video

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