Bellew defends his British title against McIntosh on April 14th, hopes to become mandatory challenger for EBU title
By William Mackay: Former EBU light heavyweight champion Danny McIntosh (13-2, 7 KO’s) and British light heavyweight champion Tony Bellew (16-1, 10 KO’s) both have a lot in common, as they’re both coming off of losses.
Bellew, 29, was beaten by World Boxing Organization (WBO) light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly by a 12 round majority decision last October, whereas McIntosh, 31, lost an 8th round TKO in his first title defense of his European Boxing Union title to challenger Eduard Gutknecht last year in May.
It’s hard to say who did a better job, as both Bellew and McIntosh both shined brightly in their fights. Bellew simply ran out of gas in the last four rounds against Cleverly and basically gave away the fight. Bellew still appeared to have gotten at least a draw out of it, but in taking on a champion, you have to do a lot more to get a win. Bellew did expose Cleverly as being a pretty limited champion and one that likely won’t keep his title for long unless he’s carefully matched in order to avoid the better contenders.
As for McIntosh, he fought well but his eyes both began to swell up by the 6th and got steadily worse. Gutknecht, born in Kazakhstan, was able to land a lot of clean head shots and that seemed to give McIntosh a lot of trouble. In the 8th, Gutknecht hit McIntosh with a left to the head that caused him to back off and pretty much stop fighting.
Gutknecht then came forward and finished him off with a brief flurry before it was halted with McIntosh still on his feet but not looking good. McIntosh took a lot of punishment in his fight before than in winning the vacant EBU title against Thierry Karl by an 11th round TKO in January 2011. That was a fight where both guys took a lot of head shots and it seemed to carry with McIntosh going into the Gutknecht fight because he didn’t look as fresh as he did before the Karl fight.
Bellew should win this fight but he’s going to have to fight aggressively in the same manner he did against Cleverly last October. He can’t fight a safety first type of fight and win. We can’t have any repeats of his second fight against Ovill McKenzie.
Bellew hopes that with a win over McIntosh, he’ll become the mandatory challenger for Gutknecht’s EBU light heavyweight crown.