Lifelong Everton Tony Bellew insists he will finally achieve his dream in July as he expects to win the vacant WBC cruiserweight when he takes on Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park.
Bellew has been chasing a fight at the home of Everton for many years and promoter Eddie Hearn has finally agreed a date with the Premier League club.
Bellew will compete in his third world title fight on Sunday May 29 against the Congo-born Makabu and he is confident of finally getting his handle on a world title strap. He lost two world title fights at cruiserweight to Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson but the 33-year-old believes he will be too strong for his next opponent.
Makabu has stopped 19 fights so far, 18 inside the schedule distance but Bellew believes his hand will be raised in front of a packed crowd in his home city.
“I’m over the moon to get this opportunity,” he told Sky Sports. “Eddie Hearn and Bill Kenwright – the chairman of Everton – have got this done. I can’t thank them enough.
They are both behind me 100 per cent and I’m looking forward to getting this all underway. “I’ve been training for four weeks now and this is the defining fight and night of my career.
“I was born to lift that belt on May 29. I’ve achieved my dream getting this fight on. I know I’m going to win.
I can’t and won’t be defeated at Goodison Park – the greatest stadium in the world. I’m expecting the city to turn out in their droves as it’s going to be a very special event for us all.”
Makabu is the 1.57 favourite with Dafabet, while the draw is priced at 23.00, with Bellew the slight outsider at odds of 2.40.