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On This Day in 2016: Bellew wins WBC world cruiserweight title
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Tony Bellew defeated Ilunga Makabu on this day in 2016 (Martin Rickett/PA)
Tony Bellew defeated Ilunga Makabu on this day in 2016 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Tony Bellew won the vacant WBC world cruiserweight title against Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park on this day in 2016.

Fighting at the home of his beloved Toffees, the Everton fan put on a show, claiming the belt with a third-round knockout.

Makabu had entered the fight as the bookmakers’ favourite and started well, sending Bellew to the canvas in the opening round with a left-hand shot.

But the Liverpudlian quickly recovered with a barrage of combinations in the third round to floor Makabu.

The win meant Bellew won a world title at the third time of asking after previous bouts at light-heavyweight against Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson ended in defeat.

Bellew, who played Ricky Conlan in Sylvester Stallone’s film Creed, admitted he had “achieved a dream”.

He said: “I am Everton and that’s why I got up. Nothing was going to stop me tonight.

“I’ve achieved a dream tonight. All those people who said I couldn’t do it... well, I’ve done it. I’m world champion, that’s what I am!

“The last time I saw something like that I was in a Hollywood movie, now it’s real. I’ve lived the dream tonight. 

“I am the best cruiserweight in the world. I have proven it tonight.”

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