Eddie Hearn has seemingly changed his mind on pitting Tony Bellew against cruiserweight king Aleksandr Usyk just 72 hours after ruling out the fight.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Thursday, Hearn had urged Bellew to forget about facing the Ali Trophy winner when naming the Liverpool man’s next three options.
“I think there are three fights for him,” Hearn stated. “One is Tyson Fury, which isn’t going to happen any time soon. Number 2 is Andre Ward, who is obviously retired, but I think would come back, and the other one who has reached out is Adonis Stevenson.”
Ask whether Usyk is a consideration, Hearn replied: “I don’t think so. “I don’t think the money is there for that fight.
“He wants those fights (the likes of Usyk), but it’s my job as well to say ‘That’s a very, very dangerous fight. I’m not letting you take that fight for a third of what you got against David Haye.’”
In a stunning u-turn just hours after Usyk claimed four cruiserweight belts when easily defeating dangerous puncher Murat Gassiev, Hearn has now revealed he will seek out serious talks with the masterful Ukrainian.
“That was a big win for Usyk and he has established himself as arguably the pound-for-pound No 1 in boxing right now,” Hearn exclusively told Sky Sports News on Sunday.
“Bellew v Usyk is one of the best fights that can be made right now.
“Tony has felt fantastic up around the 15st weight and I’m not sure he will make cruiser again but I know with Usyk’s desire to move to heavyweight that it certainly wouldn’t be a deal breaker.
“I spoke to Tony on Saturday night and he made his intentions very clear. I also reached out to Usyk’s team and we will continue the dialogue this week,” confirmed the Matchroom boss.
Bellew tweeted he was ‘born ready’ in direct response to Usyk, who told ITV Box Office after the fight, ‘Hey Tony Bellew, are you ready?’ and said he’d take the fight at heavyweight if necessary.
“If he doesn’t want to go down, I will go up for him. I will eat more spaghetti for my dinner!”
Sealing the pound for pound number two spot in the World Boxing News Top 50 by completely dominating a top-rated fighter and unified champion in Gassiev, Usyk has the world at his feet as to what challenge he decides to take up next.
Usyk has already established his desire to move up to heavyweight at some point, and with Bellew ranked in the WBC Top 10, facing the Britain would make sense to begin what could be a highly successful run in the coveted top division.