Tony Bellew doesn’t like to be put on a pedestal. He prides himself on being like everybody else and won’t let himself get an ego.
The fighter originally from Liverpool rubbed shoulders recently with boxing’s greatest fictional character and franchise when he stepped into the ring for ‘Creed’ – the latest instalment of the ‘Rocky’ franchise. Bellew played the baddie in the latest flick, pretty Ricky Conlan, lining up against Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed who was in the first four Rocky films before the characters untimely death.
Adonis trained by Rocky Balboa, with Sylvester Stallone reprising the famous role, fights Conlan for a title shot in Goodison Park but with all the fame and glory that comes with a role like this Bellew doesn’t want any of it. Instead, the humble heavyweight fighter is only interested in talking about the men he acted alongside.
The humble Bellew explained to Loaded: “What Sly Stallone doesn’t know about boxing films isn’t worth knowing. The best way to describe him is when he came to town it was like Caesar arriving in Rome, everyone hails Caesar – it’s as simple as that.
“I’m from the Rocky era and that kind of franchise, Rocky Balboa, and to be in a film with Rocky was just, I couldn’t believe what was happening.”
The starstruck Bellew could feel a little more at ease with his fictional opponent – Michael B Jordan – who he calls his brother, alongside director Ryan Coogler.
When the camera was rolling though Bellew was down to business – including having to act out a particular request by Sylvester Stallone.
When filming finished it emerged that Stallone requested that the new star of the franchise, Michael B Jordan, would have to be able to take a punch. Well, if you’ve seen the Rocky films and you’re over the age of 25 you don’t say no to Stallone.
Bellew wasn’t any different.
He laughed: “He wanted to take a punch, and what I will say is you’re best off asking MBJ about that but he took a heavy punch, yes he did. But how it happened, because I’ve seen it talked about it in interviews, you’ll have to ask MBJ.
“It was horrible for me though because MBJ had become like a brother to me.”
“In that particular shot, I didn’t want to do it but Sly kept pushing it and pushing it and in the end we did it and it went down well and looks great in the film, one thing I’ll say is MBJ is an amazing actor.”
‘Creed’ is now out on DVD on sale nationwide
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran