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Summary

  1. Bellew wins WBC world cruiserweight title with third-round stoppage
  2. Bellew had been knocked down in first round
  3. His third world title attempt
  4. Get Involved: What is the best sporting fairytale? #bbcboxing

Live Reporting

By Luke Reddy

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

Bellew is world champion

Tony Bellew
Reuters

Well from an emotional ring entrance to a devastating knockout, that offered us plenty did it not?

Little did I think when covering a Tony Bellew news conference many years ago that this brash, trash-talking guy would go to Hollywood, fight for three world titles and ultimately win one.

He'll tell you he's nothing special, that it's all about hard work and determination. If that's the case then maybe we can call push on?

Let's start simple, go and dominate the kettle, make yourself a brew for a winner. Tomorrow we can conquer the world.

For now, sleep well, thank you for your company.

13 world champions

Bellew is world champion

Tony Bellew
.

Just what is going on in British boxing?

This is an era of eras. They line up the title fights, our fighters win the title fights. 

Bellew is world champion

Just incredible! @TonyBellew has won the @WBCBoxing World title at @Everton

Just incredible! @TonyBellew has won the @WBCBoxing World title at @Everton

A classy moment

Bellew is world champion

It's nice though I think you'll agree that in the thick of all the chaos and celebrations, Tony Bellew made time to go to the corner of his floored opponent and utter some kind words.

Tony Bellew
Getty Images

This is not a dream

Bellew is world champion

These are the moments Tony Bellew dreamed of. He is in the dressing room at Goodison Park and everyone wants a slice of him. Everton legends Graham Stuart and Ian Snodin are posing for pictures with their man, as is Barry Hearn.

The 13th UK world champion

Bellew is world champion

We have done our sums here at BBC Sport and there are now 13 British world champions.

Tony Bellew
Getty Images

Ricky Burns, Lee Selby, Jamie McDonnell, Terry Flanagan, Lee Haskins, Anthony Crolla, Kell Brook, Liam Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and now Tony Bellew.

Bellew calling

Bellew is world champion

Bellew's giving everyone it tonight! 😂

That's right Alex, he pretty much called out every cruiserweight on earth after the fight.

'One of the best nights'

Bellew is world champion

Tony Bellew's promoter Eddie Hearn: "This is one of the best nights I've ever been a part of. I can't believe Tony Bellew is a world champion. He can fight them all. It's an unbelievable night. Thank you to all the people of Liverpool and of course to Everton Football Club."

The moment

Bellew is world champion

The moment he knew he was world champion #BellewMakabu #AndTheNew

The moment he knew he was world champion #BellewMakabu #AndTheNew

'It was a disaster of a camp'

Bellew is world champion

New WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew: "It was a disaster of a camp. Four weeks ago I had a detatched rib, I had a messed up left hand.

"Two weeks ago I was in a hyperbaric chamber. But who cares?!"

'King Kong couldn't keep me down'

Bellew is world champion

King Kong
Getty Images

New WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew: "This is the only fight of my life that I have dreamed every single night that I would lose. But I did it, I won. I am the world champion.

"I am the best cruiser weight in the world. King Kong and 25 men couldn't keep me on the floor tonight.

"I am the closest thing to unbeatable since Floyd Mayweather - but only at Goodison!"

Booming boxing

Bellew is world champion

🇬🇧 boxing is booming with champions in nearly every weight, Bring on the world🌎 no contest. We are truly blessed🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

'I am Everton'

Bellew is world champion

New WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew: "I got knocked down but that's what I do.

"I told you I am Everton. that's why I got up. Nothing was going to stop me tonight. I cried in the dressing room two hours ago when I got here. I achieved the dream tonight, I am world champion, that's what I am.

"I believe in my coach and these people around me. My dad, my missus, my sons, I do it all for them. So much credit to a lot of people 

"The only thing I have to say is EVERTON! EVERTON!

"The last time I saw that was in a Hollywood film Michael Buffer was here tonight!"

Bellew is all in

Bellew is world champion

Tony Bellew has his green belt draped over his shoulder.

There can't be many fights where someone is put on their back in round one and then less than six minutes later is a winner and champion.

He was told by his trainer not to be "too greedy" but when the chance came, Bellew went all in.

The knockout was a perfect mix of overwhelming an opponent with activity and power. There was a slim chance Ilunga Makabu could stay standing for a little longer but the left hook, so perfectly pointed across the chin, put the lights out.

Support for Bellew

Bellew is world champion

What a #Result @TonyBellew the #WBC champ over the moon #destiny

What a #Result @TonyBellew the #WBC champ over the moon #destiny

Support for Bellew

Bellew is world champion

Well done @TonyBellew #WorldChamp👍👊

Unbelievable performance from the bomber @TonyBellew. And showed real class after the fight to make sure he's ok. #AndTheNew

Bellew is world champion

Tony Bellew's pro career started in October 2007. He fought at leisure centre after leisure centre along the way and who'd have thought there'd be a night like this in store?

The scenes in the ring are those which sum up the relief, the joy and the sheer satisfaction that a man who has invested so much has his reward.

Tony Bellew celebrates
Getty Images

A contrast...

Bellew is world champion

Everton Football Club chairman Bill Kenwright is in the ring and gets a hug from Tony Bellew. I'd say I'm the only person in the north-west of England yet to get a hug from the champion.

Ilunga Makabu is distraught in his corner. He's hunched on his stool, no words will do for him. Cruel but that final left hook would have KO'd an elephant.

A stunning finale

Bellew is world champion

Looking back at the closing stages it was a left hook which shifted the momentum. From the hunted to the hunter, Tony Bellew was across the ring after his man.

There were dozens of shots thrown, the key ones being a right hook to again shake his man and then a succession of straight rights through the guard to do damage. A left hook as the finale got the job done. Cue piles of the boxing fraternity entering the ring and general chaos.

Get Involved

#bbcboxing

Martin Pearson-Wiggs: OMG! Tony Bellew amazing, patient and well finished and wow what a finish!! Boom boom Bellow - happy days.

Andrew Priestley: Tony Bellew inside 3 rounds, thank you and goodnight! The power that he unloaded in those punches was frightening! 

A touch of class

Bellew is world champion

Tony Bellew is over to the corner of Ilunga Makabu and it's a touch of class from the home fighter.

He says: "I respect you so, so much. We can't be friends before but I respect you so, so much."

Tony Bellew is world champion

The scenes are chaotic. Concern for Ilunga Makabu, joy for Tony Bellew who has tears in his eyes and is being hugged by half of Britain it seems. His family are in the ring, his promoter Eddie Hearn looks to be wiping tears away from his eyes.

Round three

Tony Bellew is world champion

Dear me, just when you think this fight is going to settle down we get another big moment. It's firework-like, blistering.

Ilunga Makabu was making the pace very early in the third and got countered, sparking a change in momentum and from that second he was on the run. Tony Bellew went after him with devastating strikes. They packed power, accuracy and before you knew it, only the ropes were keeping the away fighter in the ring.

Still the shots flew in, still he soaked them up but a swinging left to the jaw was telling. Makabu was out on his feet, his body wilted instantly.

Tony Bellew celebrates
Getty Images

Round three

Bellew wins

There's a steady pace to this. Ilunga Makabu goes after him a little but gets caught as he comes on strong and now its Makabu on the run. 

Tony Bellew has him on the run, this is rapid-fire stuff suddenly, nothing coming back, is it going to be over? IT IS.

Round Two

Bellew v Makabu

I make that one round apiece. If you are just joining us, Tony Bellew was floored in round one.

Tony Bellew
PA

Round Two

Bellew v Makabu

Tony Bellew may well now be tentative for a bit. That was such a wake up call and it could stop him coming forward a little.

He's showing respect in round two, pawing away with the left jab and looking for space but he's almost scared to go into the pocket where the leather could fly from the Congolese.

A right to the body from Bellew, a left to the side of his opponent and this time the Liverpool fighter gets away from the action, no longer greedy as his own trainer called him a few moments ago.

Tony Bellew in action
Getty Images

Get Involved

#bbcboxing

Martin Pearson-Wiggs: Lets go Tony Bellew it's time.....

Andrew Priestley: Tony Bellew to harness the energy of this fervent home support and to end this fight inside 3 rounds.

Round Two

Bellew v Makabu

That left hand was an absolute stunner from Ilunga Makabu and now Tony Bellew has to win this fight having been put down.

Such was his momentum he hit the deck and backward rolled up onto his feet. Wow. 

Makabu just soaked a bit of pressure up and said have some of this. Talk about setting a trap.

Tony Bellew in action
PA

From the corner

Bellew v Makabu

Trainer Dave Coldwell: "You got greedy, you forgot about defence."

Bellew: "That was a good shot"

Round One

Bellew v Makabu

The Everton songs ring out and the fighters meet in the middle of the ring. Straight right, hooked left from Bellew. Good flicked jab from Ilunga Makabu lands but suddenly he is cornered and Tony Bellew is able to measure him up, an early opening.... he puts the pressure on and throws some body shots, this is a great round for him is it? NO... suddenly, from nowhere Bellew is down. It was a straight left to the kisser.

I repeat: BELLEW IS DOWN.

Round One

Bellew v Makabu

Blue shorts for Bellew, some glitter on there, he leads with his left hand in his orthodox style. You can see his added height early on, a much bigger, rangier man. Ilunga Makabu leads with the right hand - southpaw. And at the first sight of action from Bellew, this crowd are roaring. Nothing all too meaningful, just a bit of energy, but boy did it ignite some noise.

Ready to go

Bellew v Makabu

Here we go then #BellewMakabu
Here we go then #BellewMakabu

Here we go then #BellewMakabu

Bellew v Makabu

Tony Bellew dances on the spot, shadow boxing as his name is read.

The pair meet at the middle of the ring for referee instructions. Touch gloves, they do as he says and after a brief bow in his corner and moment of reflection, this is it.

Tony Bellew hugs his trainer Dave Coldwell. Here we go...

There's only one Michael Buffer

Bellew v Makabu

"The officials are ready, the fighters are in the ring and they are ready, boxing fans, are you ready?

"For the thousands in attendance and millions watching around the world, ladies and gentleman, from Liverpool, England, let's get ready to rumble."

Tale of the tape

Bellew v Makabu

This is what it comes down to. Orthodox against southpaw remember. Always makes for a few hairy moments...

Bellew v Makabu
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Anthem time

Bellew v Makabu

And Michael Buffer asks for respect for the national anthems. It's the turn of the Democratic Republic of Congo first.

Ilunga Makabu looks like he's about to go for a morning jog, bouncing on the spot, fairly emotionless, the most movement comes from his red gloves.

Now to God Save the Queen as Tony Bellew's trained Dave Coldwell has a word with his man. Some final hints and tips.

Views from Hollywood...

Bellew v Makabu

Matchroom Boxing on Twitter: ".@TonyBellew & Makabu head to head #. You can do it Tony The champ from "creed" mobile.twitter.com/MatchroomBoxin…

Tony Bellew and Sylvester Stallone
Rex Features

Views from the pros...

Bellew v Makabu

What a dream come true for Tony Bellew... And that's just the ringwalk!!!

Tony Bellew
Getty Images

Bellew in the ring

Bellew v Makabu

To the ring steps. Suddenly Tony Bellew is visible to those at the back of the arena.

A British flag flutters in the ring and in he bounces. He has a blue, somewhat glittery top on (not sure he could pull that off on a night out in Liverpool city centre) and has his hood up.

Blue from head to toe.

Tony Bellew arrives
Getty Images