Tony Bellew defended his British light heavyweight title successfully tonight when he knocked out game but outclassed Danny McIntosh in the fifth round at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Bellew was in control for the entirety of the fight, out-skilling and out-punching the willing McIntosh. McIntosh was unable to mount an attack on the fast moving Liverpudlian, and was always a step or two behind his taller and bigger rival. When Bellew started to move through the gears as early as the second round, McIntosh simply couldn't respond and he took a pounding in the third round, walking on to Bellew's impressive variety of punches.
On the bell to end the fourth, McIntosh took a knee to escape the onslaught, was up at eight, but the writing was on the wall. Early in the fifth, the two fighters clashed heads, and Bellew disengaged to dab at his eye. When referee Terry O'Connor instructed them to box on, McIntosh walked precisely on to a Bellew right, and went down on his back. O'Connor didn't bother to count, and rightly waved the fight off.
Bellew (17-1, 11 KOs) failed in his previous fight, an attempt at Nathan Cleverly's WBO title, when he lost narrowly but probably improved his reputation, and while beating McIntosh won't impact the upper reaches of the division at world level, Bellew will now be looking for the European title formerly held by McIntosh (13-3, 7 KOs).
On this showing Bellew is fast improving as a fighter and if he progresses in the right way he could realize his ambition of dragging Cleverly back into the ring:
"I'll fight him tomorrow, I'll fight him in Wales," Bellew said after the fight. "Hey, I'll fight him in his back garden. I still consider myself an unbeaten fighter."