Bellew may enforce his emeritus status
Tony Bellew will take on David Haye at the O2 Arena, London, live on Sky Sports on May 5th. The fight of course a rematch from the previous March in which Bellew pulled of a shock victory, which saw David Haye fighting for half of the fight with a torn Achilles tendon.
Bellew is always very vocal, and in recent months we have seen him in spats with other heavyweights like Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte and most recently Tyson Fury. We have even seen his name linked with fellow ‘Creed’ star and pound for pound great Andre Ward. In fact just about the only heavyweight name we have not seen him linked with is stablemate Anthony Joshua, who he has always claimed is ‘too big’.
But despite all of the talk and bravado it seems like any dreams of Bellew claiming a world title in boxing’s most prestigious division are now over. Bellew told BBC Radio 5 Live that Haye is the reason that dreamed has died, and that him waiting for Haye to recover from a biceps injury that delayed their December rematch has thwarted his chances.
“My plan was to beat Haye and go for Joseph Parker, who I believed I could beat,” Bellew said.
“Now I have to look past fighting the heavyweight champion of the world now, the dream isn’t going to come true.
“I believe Joshua will defeat Parker and I’m not touching the WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, no chance in this world. He’s huge and I’m not going anywhere near Joshua. These modern-day heavyweights are just too big.”
Tony Bellew achieved his boyhood dream in May 2016 in front of a hometown crowd when he beat Ilunga Makubu by a stunning third round knockout. A defence against BJ Flores followed, with the WBC stating that the winner had to fight Mairis Briedis. But rather than taking that option, Bellew opted for a non-title fight against Haye for what was easily a bigger purse.
Since then the WBC have made him ‘Champion Emeritus’. Since then we have all gone onto see the fantastic tournament that is the World Boxing Super Series. Bellew was offered the chance to enter the knockout format, but turned it down. However, it now seems that a return to the 200lbs division could be on the cards, but only seemingly if Oleksandr Usyk is victorious in the competition.
Bellew hinted that landing all four titles would be his last fight, calling it a “fitting way for mission complete”.
“I still very much believe it is my division,” added Bellew, nicknamed ‘The Bomber’. “I still see myself as a cruiserweight and there’s a huge opportunity available for me there.
“This World Boxing Super Series has been a breath of fresh air.
“Hopefully Usyk comes through the final and I am happy to face him. I am 100% certain I could find a way to beat him and it would be very hard. If I say ‘Usyk I want my WBC belt back’, he has to face me or lose it.”
It certainly seems as though Bellew is thinking very carefully about who his final fight or fights will be against. However be it Murrat Gassiev, Oleksandr Usyk or Yunier Dorticos. Id like to see Bellew make one final stand as the gunslinger he has always been.
By: Aaron Cooper