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Tony Bellew targeting title shot after big screen debut

After making his film debut in the latest Rocky sequel "Creed," Tony Bellew is looking towards a real world title fight.

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Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Tony Bellew starred as the endgame in the recently released "Creed" film -- a film that received rave reviews, the first of which came from yours truly -- but insists he's now completely focused on getting himself a world title fight in the cruiserweight division. Bellew (25-2-1, 16 KOs) is currently scheduled to take on Mateusz Masternak (36-3, 26 KOs) this Saturday at London's O2 Arena for the vacant European title, and a win is expected him back into contention for a world title.

But reflecting on his work in the seventh Rocky installment, Bellew said that the original films had inspired him to to make a career in the ring:

"Rocky made a huge impact on me and my career, as it has others. Everyone wants to be a boxer after they see those films, but only a few get to really experience what it's like.

"I think this film is a lot more realistic than the other Rocky films. The storylines are very real and it's something that could've happened to me if I didn't have had a good lifestyle and knocked about with different people."

Bellew also said he developed good relationships with Creed director Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone, and Michael B. Jordan while working on the film, and he'd be interested giving the big screen another shot if the right role came along. But in the meanwhile, he insists that he's focused solely focused on winning a world title in real life.

"I'm a boxer foremost now and it's all about December 12 and if I look good in winning this fight it makes me one of the best cruiserweights in the world, and that's all that matters to me now."

Bellew believes he's prepared to take on any one of the four major cruiserweight titleholders right now, Denis Lebedev (WBA), Grigory Drozd (WBC), Victor Ramirez (IBF), or Krzystof Glowaki (WBO). He said he's already tried to make a fight with Yoan Pablo Hernandez, who he considers to be the best cruiserweight in the division, but that fight fell through due to an injury. So now, if he can't get the guy he thinks tops the division, he'll target any one of the champions -- none of whom he believes is in his class.

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