Reece Bellotti will be aiming the win the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt at the second time of asking when he takes on reigning Super-Featherweight Champion Liam Dillon at the top of Matchroom’s latest NXTGEN card at Indigo at The O2 this Saturday February 10, live worldwide on DAZN. The Watford favorite (17-5, 14 KOs) challenged Cromer’s Ryan Walsh for the British Featherweight Title on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s blockbuster rematch with Derek Chisora at The O2 in London in December 2018, falling short after finding himself on the wrong side of a split decision on the judge’s scorecards. Five years on, the 33-year-old two-time Commonwealth Champion has a second chance to get his hands on the belt that he has dreamt of winning since he was a child – and ‘Bomber’ is predicting a crowd-pleasing barnstormer in the Capital with Chingford’s defending champion Dillon.
“Liam is a good fighter,” said Bellotti. “He’s tough. He’s a very tough man. He’s a come forward fighter. We’re both come forward fighters so it will be a good fight on the night. I can’t wait for it. I’m on the same mindset as him. It’s going to be a great fight for the fans and one for everyone to watch. It’s a fight we’ve always wanted. A fight we’ve always looked forward to. We were ready for the call and took the fight. “100% this is the most important fight of my career. I’ve always wanted the British Title ever since I was a kid. When I started boxing, the British Title was always the one for me. Obviously I got beat against Ryan Walsh a few years back. I was gutted. Probably at that time I didn’t think I’d ever get another shot again at a British Title. I moved up a weight and now I’ve got my chance again I’ll take it with both hands.” Following his loss to Walsh, Bellotti bounced back to winning ways against Josue Grandelli before suffering consecutive losses at the hands of Francesco Grandelli, Jordan Gill and Raymond Ford – but the Hertfordshire fighter never lost hope. His brilliant resurgence started at the famous York Hall in April 2022 where he stopped Dean Dodge in seven rounds to pick up the vacant Southern Area Title. He then outpointed Youssef Khoumari at Wembley Arena the following year before inflicting a first loss on Aqib Fiaz to earn the Commonwealth strap last October. “I’ve kept a strong mindset all of the time. There will always be bumps in the road. You can always come up against better fighters on the night. It happens quite often, you see it a lot around the world. I always dig deep and I always thought I was going to win more titles. I carried on and I did.
“I’m fully focused on winning the British Title and then pushing on for more belts this year. I’m trying to maximize myself and get as far as I can go. If that’s a potential shot at a World Title, I know it sounds crazy, then that’s what we’ll go for. I’m ready for it.”