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Boxing

5 potential next opponents for Tony Bellew

Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn has announced this week that British cruiserweight/heavyweight star Tony Bellew will return to the ring later this year.

Bellew Makubu celebration

The announcement came as a slight shock to most people as it looked like ‘The Bomber’ was looking more towards retirement after his epic 11th round stoppage over rival David Haye on March 4th.

The heated build-up to Haye Vs Bellew made the fight one of the most highly-anticipated domestic match-ups in recent years. Bellew handled himself with class in the build-up and the fact that he backed up everything he promised has made the affable Scouser an even bigger fan favourite than he already was.

There will however remain some doubt surrounding the nature of the result as Haye clearly suffered a fight-changing injury in the 6th round (snapping his Achilles) and that’s when Bellew took over. So if Bellew does return, the rematch is more than likely the fight we will see take place and the one that most fans would want to see happen. But there are other options out there for Bellew and from what he and Hearn have been saying, they are all massive fights too…

Let’s have a look at the names that have been mentioned so far:

 

David Haye:

Like I said, this is the most likely, and most obvious one out there. It also makes the most money and most sense. So if Haye can recover from the injury and get back into training soon enough, and has it in him to fight again, the rematch is definitely the fight that we will be watching on PPV.

haye-bellewThis will be an interesting and difficult one to call, because there will be so many things to take into consideration. Can Bellew beat Haye if he isn’t hampered by injury? Might Haye get injured again? Will the first fight affect both fighters’ mindset?

There are so many questions to answer and we’ll only find out if the two meet again in the squared circle.

 

Joseph Parker:

If I was going to advise Bellew to go for any opponent it would be this one. Joseph Parker is a very winnable fight for ‘The Bomber’ and he happens to hold the WBO heavyweight world title, meaning Bellew could become a two-weight world champion.

Parker is the smallest out of the three world champions, standing at 6’4, roughly the same size as Bellew and isn’t the best boxer technically. He is still a solid fighter so Bellew wouldn’t enter as a big favourite, but if there’s any chance of him claiming a heavyweight world title, this is it!

 

Tyson Fury:

Maybe the only fight out there that would be bigger than the Haye rematch. Fury is the biggest personality in British boxing and people pay attention every time he fights, so if he took on Bellew, who is now a massive name himself, this fight would sell!

Unfortunately for Bellew though, Fury is probably the most technically-gifted heavyweight in the world and stands at a massive 6 feet 9 inches. The controversial Mancunian would tower over Tony and his outside fighting is on point, so there is next to no chance that Bellew would even be able to get close to him. Bellew has actually admitted this himself and actually been quite modest when talking about Fury, stating that he admires what he’s achieved.

Money talks however and if Bellew wants one final huge pay day, this one would definitely make a lot!

 

Deontay Wilder:

Boxing - Deontay Wilder Media Work - English Institute of Sport

A dangerous, dangerous fight for Bellew. The WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder is the hardest hitter in the division and a lot bigger than the Evertonian. In my honest opinion, it would be a foolish move for Bellew and Hearn, as Bellew would stand little chance and could, god forbid, end up getting seriously hurt.

But again, money talks and apparently Wilder has already shown interest in the fight.

So don’t rule it out!

 

Dillian Whyte:

Another winnable fight for Tony and a clash that would have a build-up as intense and explosive as Haye-Bellew. Dillian Whyte has been quite critical of Bellew on Twitter saying the 34-year old “struggled to beat a one legged David Haye now thinks he’s the next Muhammad Ali #fakeheavyweight.” This has caused Bellew to bite back and say the following: “I’m not even going to give him the time of day. What he said is I’m going to get ‘absolutely smoked’ by David Haye. I’m not going to knock out the best heavyweight in the world outside the champions and then fight a guy who lost for the British title.”

So it looks ‘The Bomber’ may not be interested in the fight but I’m sure a few things could change his mind if none of the other names on the list are available. This match-up would definitely interest the fans, and it’s a fight Bellew could win, make some big money off and then maybe face one of the bigger heavyweights early next year.

And just imagine the epic build-up!

 

Bellew, who has already fought at his dream location – Goodison Park, says he would like his final fight to be at Wembley Stadium. Now, Wembley holds 80 to 90,000 seats so it would take a huge fight to sell it out, but I think a few of the names I just mentioned could help ‘The Bomber’ achieve that one last goal!

 

Follow Jack Price on Twitter @PriceyJ97


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