Bellew discusses next move, Hernandez v Ramirez and Shumenov v Flores

Phil Jay 24/07/2015

British cruiserweight contender Tony Bellew is in the process of considering his options following the recent postponement of the IBF title bout between Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Victor Ramirez.

The 32 year-old former light-heavyweight world title challenger defeated Ivica Bacurin in June to record a fourth straight victory at 200lbs and was set to fight the winner of Hernandez v Ramirez later in the year.

Long-reigning Hernandez was due to defend his red belt this weekend in Argentina until Ramirez asked for and was granted more time to prepare.

Despite having his immediate plans disrupted, Bellew was philosophical when addressing the delay to WBN on Thursday night.

“It happens and that’s boxing for you,” Bellew told World Boxing News.

“My career doesn’t depend on any one fighter or any single man. I make my own decisions and I’ll fight again soon and then look towards the champions. I’ll sit down with Eddie (Hearn) and we will figure out what is the best move for me and my team.”

Asked if he’ll now switch his attention away from Hernandez a look towards the likes of Grigory Drozd, Marco Huck or Denis Lebedev, Bellew replied: “I’ve never fully focused on one champion anyway and I’m up for facing any of them in all honesty as they all bring something different to the table.”

When the fight between Hernandez and Ramirez does eventually go ahead, which will probably be back in Argentina this September or October, Bellew says the contest is not a cut and dried as people think in favour of the champion.

“The fight all depends on which Hernandez turns up,” he said. “If the one that fought Steve Cunningham and Troy Ross turns up, he’ll deal with Ramirez quite comfortably. But if the Hernandez that boxed (Firat) Arslan turns up then he’s in trouble because Ramirez is better and stronger than Arslan.”

One fight taking place this weekend has vested interest for Bellew as rival BJ Flores tackles former 175lb world title holder Beibut Shumenov for the vacant interim WBA cruiserweight belt. American Flores has wanted to face Bellew since the Liverpudlian made the 25 pound jump late last year, something which hasn’t gone unnoticed by ‘The Bomber’ who would have no problem facing the winner.

“Shumenov v Flores is a decent fight and we’ve spoken to Al Haymon’s people about the possibility of a fight against whoever wins,” revealed Bellew.

“Flores has been around a long time and has been calling for me ever since I moved up. He seems pretty obsessed with wanting to fight former light heavies. First he wanted me after I moved up and now he’s fighting Shumenov who has also just moved up. The thing is he lost to a former light heavy himself in Danny Green!

“I have told him that fighting him does nothing for me on the world scene, but if he beats Shumenov then I suppose fighting him for an interim title or final eliminator is an option. I’ll see, but all I’m interested in is becoming world champion and I’ll face anyone to do that.”

A dream of participating in a world title fight at his beloved Goodison Park, home of heroes Everton FC, has already been delayed after initially being planned for this year and Bellew was honest in stating that without a world title the event may never come to fruition.

“I’d like to think it can still happen for me, but for now I don’t know. If I win a belt then I feel it can happen, but if I don’t win one then probably not.”