Tony "Bomber" Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KO) is hoping a move to the cruiserweight division is the medicine for what ailed him at light heavyweight. In his last fight, Bellew was smashed by WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
Valery Brudov (41-4, 28 KO) will provide the opposition for Bellew on Saturday in Liverpool. Brudov is 37 years old and has some experience fighting current and former champions.
He's on the downside of his career, so this is a fairly safe cruiserweight debut for Bellew.
It'll be interesting to see if Bellew can carve a path to a title shot at 190 pounds. It starts on Saturday against Brudov. Here's how you can watch:
When: Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m ET
Where: Echo Arena in Liverpool, England
TV: Sky Sports
Live Stream: Sky1
The Book on Bellew
After being stopped in the sixth round of the bout with Stevenson in November 2013, Bellew is ready to try his hand within a division without as many dangerous champions. At 175 pounds, the route to a championship goes through Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, the ageless Bernard Hopkins and the underrated Beibut Shumenov.
At cruiserweight, Guillermo Jones, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Marco Huck are the class of the division. While these three champions aren't slouches, they aren't on the same level as the title holders at 175 pounds.
Per Sky Sports, this fight still keeps Bellew on target to capture his professional goals. He told Sky Sports: "My two goals in boxing are to earn a living for me and my kids, and to become a world champion."
This may not seem like a major victory for Bellew to obtain, but with little noteworthy competition at cruiserweight, he'd have to be in the mix for a shot at a world title with a win.
The Book on Brudov
Brudov has lost just four fights in his career. All four losses have come to men who are current or former world champions—or interim titleholders.
Unfortunately for Brudov, he's never beaten an opponent of note. In 2012, he was battered into submission by the slick-boxing Ola Afolabi. Brudov retired in the fifth after being dropped twice in the fight.
Since then, Brudov has won two fights in a row, but the wins have come over marginal opposition. One fighter Brudov defeated in this span, Jevgenijs Andrejevs, has a record of 9-54.
Who wins Bellew-Brudov, and how?
Clearly, Bellew represents a big step up from the fighters Brudov's been facing of late.
Brudov has long arms and decent movement. He also has moderately quick hands. That said, Bellew is a difficult fighter to catch flush. He stands 6'3" and knows how to use his height to keep distance.
When he's not totally outclassed athletically the way he was against Stevenson, he's a tough assignment.
Don't expect a thrilling bout, nor an easy one for Bellew. He doesn't have explosive power, so he'll need to take Brudov apart with solid boxing to win.
He'll do that in a less-than-entertaining bout. Bellew will win by a unanimous decision.
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