Bellew eyes world title shot after stoppage win
British cruiserweight contender Tony Bellew (24-2-1, 15 KOs) stopped late sub Ivica Bacurin (22-8-1, 12 KOs) in the 10th round on Friday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Bellew stayed on course for a third world title shot by flooring his Croatian opponent three times on the way to the stoppage victory.
The Liverpudlian dropped Bacurin in rounds two, five and nine and forced the outgunned visitor to a halt in the 10th, jolting Bacarin’s head back with an uppercut to force the referee’s intervention.
Bellew has been lined up as a possible challenger for IBF champion Yoan Pablo Hernandez, who defends his crown for the fifth time against Victor Emilio Ramirez next month.
Also on the card, Britsh super middleweights prospects Callum Smith (17-0, 12 KOs) and Rocky Fielding (21-0, 12 KOs) both scored big wins and remained unbeaten.
Smith battled to a points victory over Christopher Rebrasse (23-4-3, 6 KOs).
Smith landed his hard shots throughout but the Frenchman enjoyed success with his own punches. Smith sent Rebrasse to the canvas with a body shot in the 10th round before winning by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 120-107 to claim the WBC silver super middleweight title.
While Fielding (21-0, 12 KOs) destroyed Bryan Vera (23-10, 14 KOs) in two rounds.
Fielding dropped the American in rounds one and two, and followed up with more punishment until the bout was waved off.
Former middleweight title challenger Martin Murray (30-2-1, 13 KOs) scored a second round stoppage over George Beroshvili (19-6-2, 12 KOs) in his super middleweight debut.
The St Helens man finished off his Georgian foe with a a brutal body shot.