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Bellow ices Makabu to win crown; Price scores knockout

Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew

By John J. Raspanti

Tony Bellew, whose dream was to capture a world championship, lived it this past Sunday night by knocking out hard-punching IIunga Makabu in the third round to capture the WBC cruiserweight title at a raucous Goodison Park Sadium in Liverpool, England.
Bellow, a native of Liverpool, did well for most of the first round. He used his advantages in height and reach to outwork his shorter opponent. Makabu, a southpaw, absorbed the blows without incident. With roughly 10 seconds to go in the stanza, the confident Makabu bounced off the ropes and unleashed a wicked left hand. The blow sent Bellew (26-2, 17 KOs) somersaulting to the canvas. He rose at the count of six, and was fortunate the round ended a few seconds later.  
Makabu (19-2, 17 KOs) came out more aggressively in Round two. He likely was looking to test Bellew’s chin. Bellew, with blood leaking from what was later reported to be a broken nose, used the ring. He stuck out his long jab to keep Makabu off-balance.

In Round three, Bellew, who had failed in two previous attempts at world championship honors, connected with a left hook that sent Makabu to the ropes. Sensing his man was hurt, Bellew let his hands go. A combination crashed off Makabu’s chin. As Makabu’s legs buckled, Bellew landed a crunching left hook to the chin. Makabu bent forward, collapsing on the mat.
Referee Victor Loughlin took one look at the prone boxer and waved off the contest. The time was 1:20 seconds.    
“I’ve achieved a dream tonight,” said the jubilant Bellew in the ring. “To all you people who said I couldn’t do it, I’ve done it!”
Knocked unconscious 10 months ago in his last bout, heavyweight David Price (20-3, 17 KOs) needed a victory.
Fighting on the undercard of the Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu championship match, Price, 32, required less than five minutes to put away overmatched Vaclav Pejsar (9-3, 8 KOs) at Goodison Park Stadium in Liverpool. England.
The six-foot, eight-inch Price used his long jab to set up the much-shorter Pejsar. Near the end of the opening stanza, he connected with a powerful right uppercut that floored Pejsar. The gutsy German righted himself, but the end was inevitable.
It came two minutes later when Price landed the same punch. Pejsar collapsed to the canvas, and this time, couldn’t beat the count.
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