Tony Bellew has been honest in his assessment of defeating Andre Ward after revealing talks are ongoing for a clash in 2018.
The former WBC cruiserweight champion, current training to face David Haye on May 5th in London, is under no illusions that scoring a victory over Ward would be nigh-on impossible.
“The only way Ward loses a fight is if he has an off day,” admitted Bellew in his most recent Metro column.
“It’s a possibility I’ll fight Andre Ward after David Haye, and I need him to have an off day. And on top of that, I need to be on the money. Not very optimistic, you say? No, I’m just realistic.
“I’m not a fantasist. He’s better than me. But, if I get the tactics right on the night then I beat him. I will win if he has an off night.”
Ward announced his retirement following back-to-back wins over Sergey Kovalev in 2016 and 2017, although Bellew believes the American’s mind can easily be changed.
“We’ve spoken with Ward’s team. Eddie Hearn and the rest of the team have been in talks. Ward may be publicly retired, but that’s not what his team are saying.
“We’ve had conversations within the last six weeks. I’ll leave that to Eddie, but I highly rate Ward. He does and sees things differently, but I believe I can beat him.”
Bellew has been out of the ring for over year since his stoppage win over Haye in March 2017, whilst any future fight with Ward will fully hinge on his performance in the imminent rematch.