TONY BELLEW’S maiden defence of his hard-earned WBC Cruiserweight strap is less than three weeks away as he prepares for the incoming threat of brash American BJ Flores. With mouthwatering unifications on the horizon at his current weight as well as fascinating options in the weight above, Bellew’s trainer, Dave Coldwell is insistent that the immediate focus is on Flores and following two massive wins over Mateusz Masternak and Junior Makabu, Coldwell is desperate to build on the momentum that has already been gained.

“Tony is in a good place and his work ethic since becoming champion has been absolutely brilliant. I’m delighted with him. He’s been the same since I’ve been training him but he seems to have raised it again like there’s an extra responsibility because he’s world champion. He’s taking the threat of Flores very seriously just like I am because there’s no way we can afford to slip up. The win at Goodison Park was one of the finest nights I’ve had in this sport but I’m certain that there’s many more good nights ahead for Tony and for us to participate on such a stage we have to be dealing with the likes of BJ Flores in an impressive way. We want to make a statement this fight and let others in the division know exactly who we are,” he said.

On Bellew’s camp, Coldwell added, “Things have gone well and he’s working hard every single day. I’ve said it before but I’ve never seen anyone approach training with the enthusiasm Tony does. It’s like each session could be his last. It’s a full time life for him and that’s the way it has to be. His sparring has been excellent, his concentration has been perfect and everything I’m telling him is being taken on so quickly. It’s unreal what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time but I suppose when a partnership works and you both want the same things, it’s that little bit easier to get the results you both want. This camp has been brilliant so far and I think you’ll see the end product of that on October 15th.”