Monday 18 December 2017

Tony Bellew targeting December return and prefers fight with Andre Ward over rematch with David Haye

Tony Bellew celebrates an 11th round TKO victory over David Haye after their Heavyweight contest at The O2 Arena on March 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Tony Bellew celebrates an 11th round TKO victory over David Haye after their Heavyweight contest at The O2 Arena on March 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Liam Blackburn

Tony Bellew is targeting a return to the ring in December but admits a heavyweight rematch with David Haye is looking increasingly unlikely.

Five months ago Liverpudlian Bellew made the step up to heavyweight to face Haye, who was stopped in the 11th round of a bout in which he suffered a ruptured Achilles.

Bellew, 34, sustained a broken hand himself and revealed after the contest that he would consider retirement, but is now back training six times a week to keep himself in shape for another fight in 2017.

That may not be against Haye given how difficult negotiations on a rematch have proved, with Bellew also considering meeting undefeated light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward or WBO heavyweight belt holder Joseph Parker.

"I am going to go out some time in December," Bellew confirmed to Press Association Sport.

"We've sat down with Andre Ward's team, I've personally sat down with Joseph Parker and his team, and I leave Eddie (Hearn) to deal with the other fella (Haye) from London.

"David is an amazing fighter, athlete and sportsman, (but) when it comes to business he's an absolute moron...well it's not even him, it's people his side.

"I'm sure they say the business people my side are morons too because we're all fighting to get that little percentage more.

"I'm further away than ever with the David Haye fight, that's just the way it is. I'm a lot closer now to the Andre Ward fight than I ever have been before.

"I like the Andre Ward fight. The numbers didn't match up at first but then Eddie worked out a way where it can work favourably for what I want.

"There's the Joseph Parker fight; the lure of becoming heavyweight champion for me outweighs everything else.

"The money does play a factor but the lure and the dream of becoming heavyweight champion of the world - no money in the world can ever make that up."

The ruptured Achilles which clearly restricted Haye in his last encounter has not put an asterisk next to the win for Bellew.

And given the options on the table for Bellew, the rematch Haye was promised by his conqueror in the build-up is far from a foregone conclusion.

"Right now he's saying one thing, I'm saying another and there is no middle ground," Bellew, speaking as an ambassador for Betsafe, admitted.

"I've already shocked the world. I don't care if people think I won because of that injury.

"Hopefully it can happen again so I can prove to everyone I can beat him no matter what; if it doesn't, so be it.

"I don't need David Haye, my career does not revolve around David Haye. My career revolves around me and what I choose to do."

American Ward accounted for one of the two losses Carl Froch suffered in his career and is considered the world's best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet by The Ring magazine, yet Bellew is not fazed by the possibility of facing him.

"The Andre Ward fight would be a mega fight," he said.

"He's pound-for-pound number one in the world, so they say. I believe I'm just too strong for him, too big for him.

"I'm a huge cruiserweight, I will walk through him like a train. He will not be able to hold me off."

:: Tony Bellew is a Betsafe ambassador. Find out more at www.betsafe.com

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport