Promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to land a big fish for Tony Bellew before the Liverpool man waltzes off into the sunset with a trio of huge fights behind him.
Two victories over David Haye got the juices flowing for Bellew, who was attempting to lure Andre Ward and Tyson Fury out of their respective retirements until the offer came from undisputed cruiserweight king Aleksandr Usyk.
With talks underway. the Matchroom boss is doing his best to secure home advantage for a massive clash on Sky Sports Box Office in November but says retirement will happen for Bellew this year.
“(The) next two weeks we’ll know if it’s happening – there is a good chance,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Ever since Usyk called him out after the Series, Tony’s had it in his head that he’s fighting him. And it’s the only fight that he will come back for.
“It’s Usyk or retire. That’s what it will be now. It’s only really the Usyk fight that gives him the buzz.
“When you get an opportunity like this to be undisputed champion, something that he’s dreamed of since he laced up a pair of gloves, he can’t let it go. But this will be his last fight, I will make sure of that, and he will give every ounce if it happens.
“He’s started now in camp, because if it’s November, it’s 11 weeks and he’s got to get his weight down. He’s on that already. He was out in Portugal last week training, and he’s in a good place,” he added.
Usyk’s manager Egis Klimas updated WBN this week on whether negotiations between the pair currently stand.
“We are making progress and getting closer to making Usyk v Bellew in the UK,” Klimas exclusively told World Boxing News. “We’re aiming for a date in November and negotiations are for a fight in the cruiserweight division.”
Asked whether there was any chance Usyk could have competed in the second World Boxing Super Series just announced and whether the undefeated puncher intends to relinquish his four straps after the Bellew battle, Klimas replied:
“No, this bout was never to be part of the WBSS but it will be Usyk’s first defense for all titles. At this moment, there are no plans and no sense for Usyk to vacate titles as after Bellew good bouts can be made at the weight.
“There is always more interest and more money for bouts with titles involved,” he explained.