World-class or elite? Tony Bellew rates himself, Andre Ward, Scott Quigg and James DeGale
Tony Bellew has admitted his limitations in the ring as the former WBC cruiserweight champion continues preparations for his rematch with David Haye.
The 33 year-old wrote in his Metro column this week on the back of watching Scott Quigg lose out in a brutal war with Oscar Valdez.
Giving his opinion on compatriots Quigg and previously James DeGale falling short in world title fights, ‘The Bomber’ places the pair in separate brackets at the top level.
“Quigg is a world-class featherweight and there is a gap between him and the elite fighters. He’ll come up against other world-class featherweights, and he’ll win some and he’ll lose others,” predicted Bellew to Metro
“Valdez could be an elite level featherweight some day. I’d still pit Frampton to beat Valdez, but that’s on his performance against Leo Santa Cruz.
“I say this as a world-class fighter myself. I’m not an elite level fighter, I know that. I beat an elite one in David Haye! But, I look at someone like Gennady Golovkin and Terence Crawford – these guys are elite.
“They don’t lose to world-class fighters unless they have a bad day at the office. I still believe James DeGale is an elite level fighter, but he had a bad day at the office against Caleb Traux.
“If I am to beat Ward (elite-level), I know I’ll need him to have a similarly bad day,” he added.
Enjoying an undefeated run stretching back to a 2013 loss against Adonis Stevenson at the light-heavyweight limit, Bellew has proven his guile at cruiserweight, whilst there remain question marks over his heavyweight capabilities due to weight constraints.
Bellew weighed in at 213 pounds for his first meeting with Haye, which is close to what WBC ruler Deontay Wilder scaled for his recent clash with Luis Ortiz, although the Briton doesn’t possess that equalizing power of the American.
A second victory over Haye could lead Bellew into precarious battles with much-bigger men in the mold of Tyson Fury, something which certainly wouldn’t faze the Liverpool man in the future.
Pitting his wits against Ward at a catchweight would at least give Bellew a puncher’s chance, but still see the ex-amateur star begin the fight as a massive underdog.
First things first for Bellew though, who also starts his rematch with Haye as the second favourite in the betting.
Haye needs to be firing on all cylinders to compete with Bellew, who proved he can easily deal with the Londoner when the former world champion isn’t at 100%.
Promising all injuries are now healed, Haye has a lot more to prove than Bellew does when the duo collide on May 5 at the O2 Arena.