Bellew vs Makabu
Bellew and Makabu fight it out at Goodison ParkGetty Images

Tony Bellew is looking to win his first world title when he meets Ilunga Makabu at his beloved Goodison Park in Liverpool for the vacant WBC world cruiserweight crown on Sunday 29 May.

Where to watch

With Monday a bank holiday, Bellew vs Makabu will take place on Sunday evening. Live coverage is available via Sky Sports 1 from 6:30pm (GMT). With a stacked undercard to take place beforehand, expect ring walks for the main event to take place at around 10pm.

Preview

Having previously lost to Nathan Cleverly and Adonis Stevenson in world title fights, Bellew is hoping it will be third time lucky on Sunday. Since that defeat to Stevenson in 2013, he has been unstoppable, stringing together six victories, avenging his 2011 defeat to Welshman Cleverly along the way.

Bellew's latest opportunity for world title gold comes after Grigory Drozd, who has not fought since May 2015, was forced to vacate his title due to injuries.

Bellew, 33, couldn't have planned a first world title victory better as it's being held at the home of his much-loved Everton. But standing in his way is a man who remains very much an unknown quantity. South African Makabu, originally from DR Congo, has been defeated just once in his career and has forged a reputation as a knockout artist having ended 90% of his previous 19 fights with a knockout. The 27-year-old southpaw is set up to ruin a fairy-tale and, ahead of Sunday, the bookies have backed him to do just that.

What the boxers have said

Bellew: "Real blood, real sweat and real tears get shed in real life. I just can't wait. You dream about something your whole life. From the age of 14 or 15, I wanted to be a world champion. My lifetime's work goes in to those 36 minutes on Sunday.

"That's what it means. Everything else in the world just stops and it's just about me and you. When you look into my eyes, you'll see something different to anything you've seen before."

Makaku: "I have come here to win. I have not come here to play. This is not a movie − this is the real world, this is serious.

"Tony can have a dream about fighting in this stadium because he is a fan of the club and because he was in the movie to become world champion, but this is my time. I'm also living a dream and God has promised me that this is my time. This is going to be my dream and my time. He must wait for a different dream another time."

Records

Bellew: 26 wins (16 via knockout), two losses, one draw

(W) Mateusz Masternak – unanimous decision – December 2015

(W) Arturs Kulikauskis – technical knockout – September 2015

(W) Ivica Bacurin – technical knockout – June 2016

Makabu: 19 wins (18 via knockout) 1 loss

(W) Thabiso Mchunu – knockout – May 2015

(W) Tamas Bajzath – technical knockout – December 2014

(W) Glen Johnson – technical knockout – June 2014

Prediction

Bellew to win in front of a rocking home crowd.

Betting oodds

Bellew to win 13/10

Makabu to win 5/8

Draw 18/1