Tony Bellew vs. Valery Brudov: 5 Things to Watch with Bellew at Cruiserweight

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Tony Bellew vs. Valery Brudov: 5 Things to Watch with Bellew at Cruiserweight
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Tony Bellew returns to the ring for the first time since his unsuccessful challenge for Adonis Stevenson's WBC light heavyweight title in November.

Bellew will now campaign at cruiserweight, and he takes his first serious test in that class when he faces Valery Brudov in Liverpool on Saturday night.

As reported by BoxRec, Bellew has said that making weight against Stevenson was "a torturous, horrible time" and "the worst experience I've had having to do the weight." That, coupled with his loss in the fight, has prompted his move to the new direction.

The jump from light heavyweight to cruiserweight is a significant 25 pounds (nearly two stones) because when the cruiserweight limit was moved from 190 to 200, the light heavyweight limit stayed at 175 pounds.

It is probably the toughest weight jump to make when you consider that the likes of Steve Cunningham and David Haye only put on around 10 pounds moving from cruiserweight to heavyweight.

Brudov is a respectable test for Bellew in that he has only lost to world-class fighters—Virgil Hill, Firat Arslan, Guillermo Jones and Ola Afolabi.

On the flip, Brudov is now 37, hasn't scored a major win since 2006 and is not exactly a full-fledged cruiserweight when you consider that he has not weighed above 195 pounds in the past five years.

Afolabi, who can dig but is not a murderous puncher, had Brudov down in the third round before stopping him in five back in 2012, and Bellew should look to replicate that kind of performance if he wants to announce himself to the division.

Here are five things to look for to assess Bellew's potential at the new weight.

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