This is an exclusive extract from a major interview with Tony Bellew published in this week’s issue of Boxing News magazine
Andre Ward was another name discussed, but is he happy in retirement? I’m not sure. I hope he is, but I know how it can be when a challenge stands in front of you and Andre will look at me as someone he thinks can add to his legacy, but that won’t happen if he decides to fight me. I respect him for what he has done inside the sport and out, but there’s not a chance he’s coming to cruiserweight and doing to me what he done to Sergey Kovalev. He left the sport on his terms and I wouldn’t begrudge him enjoying a happy retirement, but he knows where I am, and if he is interested in the fight then me and him can do good business together and give the people a classic fight. I’ve got the answers to beat Ward.
Another one is Tyson Fury. I see he’s been mentioning me over the last few months, and I wouldn’t mind taking that challenge on because I’m certain he can’t hurt me. There’s the size difference to overcome and I’d have to be smart, but I believe I’ve got advantages in speed and fitness that could make it interesting over 12 rounds. Fury has been badly hurt by a cruiserweight before and let me tell you that I hit a lot harder than Steve Cunningham. Fury looks to be doing the right things in the gym so we’ll see how his comeback goes, but he is someone that I definitely think I’ve got the beating of.
I know Rachel wants me to retire, her opinion means everything, and Dave has said similar too. These are people who know me so well and have my best interests at heart so last Saturday [May 5] was perhaps the ideal way to get out of the sport with all my senses fully working. I’ve won the world title at Goodison Park then gone on to defeat a legend of British boxing twice on the row. That is the fairytale ending for a boxer to go out on, but I’m a fighter, and despite how low it can make you feel at times, I do love the sport. I’m going to have to weigh a lot of things up, but I know whatever decision I make, it’ll be the right one for me and my family.