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Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu planned for WBC cruiserweight championship

Eddie Hearn is targeting Goodison Park on June 4th.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

WBC Cruiserweight Champion Grigory Drozd recently withdrew from a planned April 4th title defense against Ilunga Makabu due to injury; this is the second time he has done so, as he was originally set to face Makabu last November. As a result, the WBC will either strip him or make him Champion in Recess. In either case, the belt is now vacant, and it looks as though Tony Bellew will face Makabu for it.

This is in spite of Bellew being ranked behind Olanrewaju Durodola, Marco Huck, Mairis Breidis, and Oleksandr Usyk, none of whom currently have a fight booked.

Shenanigans aside, a date and location have yet to be determined, although June 4th at Liverpool's Goodison Park looks like Eddie Hearn's ideal show.

Bellew (26-2-1, 16 KO) has won six straight since moving up to cruiserweight, including a split decision over rival Nathan Cleverly and, most recently, a unanimous decision over Polish veteran Mateusz Masternak for the EBU title.

The "Creed" antagonist has a tall task ahead of him in South Africa's Makabu (19-1, 18 KO), a standout puncher in a division chock-full of concussion machines. "Junior" became the first man in nearly twenty years to stop Glen Johnson in 2014 and, last May, scored one of 2015's best knockouts with a faceplant finish of Thabiso Mchunu.

This fight ought to please those who like Bellew and those who don't. The fans get to see him against a top-flight cruiserweights and the detractors get to see him against a guy who is more than capable of taking his head clean off. We'll have more on the undercard and the like in the future.

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