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Bellew Reveals Honest Reason Behind Retirement: “I Knew What I Was Getting Into”

Tony Bellew is deep in the Australian jungle on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and sharing plenty of insights into his career.


The former cruiserweight king is no stranger to reality TV, having also taken part in Channel 4’s Who Dares Wins.

Having been retired since 2018, he continues to search out challenges and adrenaline rushes to no doubt try and recapture some of the thrills of the sport he dedicated his life to.


On that subject, he has been typically open and honest and shared with campmates how many times he thinks he has been hit. Though his maths is a little off, the numbers are alarming.


“My body stopped me. It’s so dangerous. A professional boxer, it’s estimated, will get hit in the head 50,000 times a year. Times that by 12, 1.1 million times in the head I’ve been punched. That’s going to catch up with me at some point.”


The lifelong Everton fan who won his world title at the home of his beloved club back in 2016 when stopping Ilunga Makabu did admit that he always knew what he was getting himself in for.


“I can accept that [damage]. I knew when I got into it. I was one of the boxers where I know what I’m signing up for. When fighters start going ‘I shouldn’t have to feel this,’ I signed up for this, this is what I’m about, this is what I do.”


Bellew carried on, addressing the physical toll the sport can take on fighters over a long career.


“If tomorrow I go into a coma because of the punches I’ve took, that’s on me, I’m not suing no-one because it isn’t their fault. I chose to get in. I used to say to my wife ‘I’m in a bad one tonight I’m going to get hurt at some point.’ And she would know. So you’ve just got to accept.”


In his 34 professional fights, Bellew won 30, 20 of them by knockout, had one draw and lost only three times including stoppages against Adonis Stevenson and Oleksandr Usyk.

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