10
Dec
2019

Exclusive: Bellew considers options, talks heavyweight and says career isn’t all about Haye

Phil Jay 23/11/2016

Lawrence Lustig

WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew is currently looking at high-profile options at the 200-pound limit as the Liverpool man eyes a return to action in 2017.

Fresh off a crushing win over BJ Flores at the Echo Arena in October, Bellew was linked to a move up to heavyweight against ex-world title holder David Haye, although has plenty of big fights to consider in his own weight class.

The 33 year-old has a mandatory in dangerous Latvian Mairis Briedis, plus options for a unification opposite the winner of fights featuring Denis Lebedev and Murat Gassiev, plus Oleksandr Usyk and Thabison Mchunu.

For now, it seems a fight with Haye is on the backburner.

“We are looking at all the options available to us,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News.

“At the moment, the Lebedev v Gassiev fight is of interest as that will be shown on Sky Sports and we are looking at moving forward with that at this point in time.

“We are just going to see where it goes as we have Briedis as the mandatory, although the unification supersedes that.

“In regards to the David Haye fight, my career isn’t just about him and we’ll just see what happens with that as and when.

“I’ve got a title to defend, so I have to behave and act like a champion, first and foremost.”

Asked whether he still had intentions in the top division besides a massive all-UK clash with Haye, ‘The Bomber’ said he’d only accept the right offer to move up and trade blows with the big boys.

“I like fights at heavyweight and there are some big fights, but I’ve just got to play it by ear,” explained Bellew.

“I refuse to get caught up and put all my eggs in one basket. I’m better than that and I’ve learned the hard way over the years so we’ll just have to wait and see.

“It’s all about risk for reward, so if the reward is big enough then I’ll always take the risk, simple as that. I’ll fight King Kong but that’s all its about at this stage of my career.

“I’ve been world champion. I’ve won it and defended it against all the odds at my dream location so from here on in its purely risk for reward,” he added.

A date in February or March is said to be the target for Bellew, with a possible announcement by Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn coming in the next few days.

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