British cruiserweight contender Tony Bellew (25-2-1, 16ko), says his career is at a crossroads ahead of Saturday’s EBU title fight with Mateusz Masternak (36-3,) in London, affirming victory is the only option so as to stay on course for his goal of winning an eventual world title.
Bellew has had an indifferent 2015 in the ring thus far, spending a portion of the year in the States filming Rocky spin-off movie ‘Creed,’ he twice struggled to look good against limited opposition, his last outing against (16-26-5) journeyman Arturs Kulikauskis in September.
Yet the Scouser says that he is ready for a war with the tough and durable Pole, who was beaten in 2013 by current WBC champion Grigory Drozd in an entertaining EBU title fight and who was most recently out in September, scoring a 2nd round TKO over Carlos Nascimento in Germany.
“I am at a crossroads and we both need to know who’s got what it takes to get that world title shot,” Bellew said to Sky Sports. “And of course, I believe that’s me.
“Mastanek has got a very similar record to me; he’s beaten anyone who is just below world-class level, he’s got an unjust loss on his record in South Africa – Johnny Muller – one genuine loss on there, like mine.
“At some stage we are just going to stand there and trade – and as soon as we do that, you know it is going to be an exciting fight.
“I am anticipating a war. And it is a real 50-50 fight. It is going to be tough but I am hoping to get to him in the middle to late rounds.”
Bellew/Masternak is part of the Matchroom Sport ‘Bad Intentions’ show from London’s O2 that is headlined by the British heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. It will be screened by Sky Box Office in the UK.