Sunday 22 April 2018

Tony Bellew on Mayweather-McGregor bout: If you don't like it, don't tune in

Floyd Mayweather is returning to the ring this summer
Floyd Mayweather is returning to the ring this summer

Tony Bellew has defended the arrangement of Floyd Mayweather's bout with Conor McGregor, even if he believes the former is due "the easiest fight" of his career.

It was announced earlier this week that former multi-weight world champion Mayweather, whose record stands at 49-0, would come out of retirement to face mixed-martial-arts champion McGregor, who has never boxed, in a lucrative bout in Las Vegas later this summer.

Critics have questioned the integrity of such a contest given McGregor has never been involved in a fight under normal boxing rules, while his unbeaten opponent is considered one of the sport's all-time greats.

However, Bellew, himself a former world champion at cruiserweight, insists that the meeting between two of the brashest personalities on the planet is only going ahead because of the public's appetite for it.

"I'm going to tune in and watch, and I'm going to pay to watch it; it's an event," Bellew told Press Association Sport.

"You have to remember if the demand is big enough for anything in the world, it will usually happen, 99 per cent of the time.

"The demand has grown and grown and grown so let the games commence, that's what I'd say. Let these guys go out there and get this done. Fair play to the two of them, they're the guys who are going to look to do damage to each other, they're the guys that are going to fight, what's everyone complaining for?

"If you don't like it, don't buy it, don't tune in, it's as simple as that. These guys want to do it and the world wants to see it. If the world didn't want to see it, it wouldn't be happening. The market wouldn't be there. The world wants to see it and that's how it goes."

He may plan to watch it, yet Bellew, like so many, is already confident of the outcome given McGregor will be the one out of his MMA comfort zone.

"If it's in a cage it's a mismatch because he (McGregor) will pull Floyd's arm off in about 20 seconds (but) it's in a boxing ring so he's going to get absolutely toyed with," Bellew added.

"You can't tell me that Conor McGregor is going to do something that Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao, Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton - them five world-class fighters - couldn't do?

"Not a chance in hell, I'm sorry. If this was in a cage Floyd would be screaming within 20 seconds, his arm would be pulled out of its socket, but it's not in a cage, it's in a boxing ring.

"As long as Conor McGregor doesn't kick Floyd Mayweather this is going to be routine, the easiest fight of Floyd Mayweather's life."

In terms of his own career, Bellew is expected to announce his next contest soon having upset David Haye at heavyweight in March.

The Liverpudlian is understood to have a number of options on the table, including a rematch with Haye.

"I'll have an announcement in the next fortnight or so," Bellew revealed.

"We'll see how it goes from there. I'm a man in demand at the moment, I suppose. I've just got to go back to work, stay in the gym and keep working as hard as I possibly can."

Press Association

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