By David McIntosh
There is a great concluding moment at the end of the Batman film, the Dark Knight Rises, where the lifelong dream of the loyal butler Alfred comes true. It’s the moment where he catches the eye of Bruce Wayne, now at peace, living in blissful obscurity, in a busy sunny Italian restaurant. They raise a glass and share a smile. It’s a brilliant ending.
Tony Bellew foresees a similar perfect ending for his boxing career. A chance to fade into the background and live, as he calls it, a normal life with his beloved family. Win or lose tonight, I think that ending is already secure. Bellew has given enormous entertainment value over the past few years and the boxing world as one will raise a glass and share a smile as he ends his career tonight. Bellew’s boxing life is one of sacrifice, immense hard work, bleak lows and ridiculous highs. His world title win in 2016 where he mirrored the set-up of the movie Creed, which he unbelievably starred in as the villain but somehow in real life switched himself into the Rocky role, remains utterly ridiculous. I still often cannot believe any of it happened. Each part is ridiculous, let alone the whole lot together. It remains a wonderful moment in boxing and it will gather even greater shine as the year’s pass.
Saturday is yet another ridiculous high for Bellew. The huge underdog in the UK’s first ever undisputed title fight with all four world belts and the coveted Ring Magazine strap up for grabs against a seemingly invincible opponent. It doesn’t just sound like a Rocky sequel, it is a Rocky sequel!
It’s hard to know which ending in the ring is more fitting for Bellew. A spectacular win, a bloody war, a brave points loss, out on his shield, a merciful corner. I hope for a win but sense a brave defeat is more likely. In any circumstance, Bellew deserves his perfect ending – fading into the background to enjoy his normal life.