Tony Bellew (27-2-1, 17 KOs) picked up the WBC cruiserweight title tonight with an easier than expected 3rd round knockout win over Ilunga Makabu (19-2, 18 KOs) at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England. Bellew went in the underdog but he showed that the oddsmakers had been wrong in installing the 28-year-old Makabu the favorite.
Bellew took Makabu out in the third round with some hard shots to the head after backing him up against the ropes. Makabu went down hard and was unable to continue.
The fight was stopped at 1:20 of the round. Bellew visited the canvas himself earlier in the contest in being knocked down in the 1st round from a left hand. Bellew made the mistake of backing straight up while being pursued by Makabu. Bellew later said that his nose had been injured from a hard shot he took. He believes it was broken.
Coming back from a loss a month ago, super featherweight Stephen Smith (24-2, 14 KOs) beat Daniel Brizuela (28-6-2, 8 KOs) by a 7th round knockout to win the WBC Silver super featherweight title. Smith was never troubled by Brizuela. In the 7th, Smith knocked Smith down two times to get the stoppage at 2:59 of the round.
Smith is hoping to get another shot at a title. He was beaten last month by IBF super featherweight champion Jose Pedraza by a 12 round decision in a close fight on April 16. It’s unknown who Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to have Smith face this time. It might not be a great idea for him to fight Pedraza again because he’s got too much size and too good of a jab for Smith. The other champions are equally tough.
Fighting in a tune-up fight, WBC #1, IBF #5, WBA #6, WBO #7 super middleweight contender Callum Smith (20-0, 15 KOs) needed to battle hard to beat Cesar Hernan Reynoso (14-8-3, 7 KOs) by a 6th round knockout. Reynoso, 29, was on his feet and fighting back when the referee stopped the contest. It looked like Reynoso could have continued, but the referee made a judgment call. Smith knocked Reynoso down three times in the fight in dropping him in the 1st, 4th and 5th. Smith was able to drop Reynoso with body shots each time he would trap him against the ropes. When Reynoso was in the center of the ring, he was generally fine.
In an important fight, heavyweight David Price (20-3, 17 KOs) defeated Vaclav Pejsar (9-3, 8 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout after putting him on the canvas. The fight was stopped at 1:30 of the 2nd. Price also knocked Pejsar down in the 1st round. Price had lost his last fight against Erkan Teper last year by a 2nd round knockout.
Super middleweight Paul Smith (37-6, 21 KOs) beat Bartlomiej Grafka (17-21-3, 8 KOs) by a six round decision. The score was 59-55.
Lightweight Sean Dodd (11-2-1, 2 KOs) defeated Pasquale Di Silvio (20-8-1, 6 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The final scores were 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92.