January 8, 2018
January 8, 2018
tony bellew

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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TONY BELLEW has lofty ambitions. After springing a major upset against David Haye last year, the Liverpudlian intends to prove that was not a fluke, courtesy of Haye’s injured Achilles, in their May rematch. Then Bellew wants to fight former heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury.

Fury has reached an agreement with UK Anti-Doping to return to boxing, although Tyson hasn’t competed for over two years. Bellew plans to capitalise on the opportunity and box him in 2018.

It can be done, argues Bellew’s trainer Dave Coldwell, “With preparation… And the right game plan. The other factor that is in there, as a difference to [Anthony] Joshua, who’s a massive giant, and Deontay Wilder, who’s a massive giant, is those two guys are frightening punchers. They’ll take you out, especially Wilder. Tyson Fury I don’t feel is that one-punch knockout guy. He’s the kind of guy that, if Tony didn’t box right, with his size and strength and weight that would wear you down rather than take you out with one shot. Bellew can punch.”

Fury at present is far above his fighting weight. But Coldwell reckons, “You can lose weight, if you’re dedicated. It’s a hell of a lot of weight but people have done it. Your average Joe’s done it… A fighter that’s got a few million as a carrot dangling in front of him, who’s trained and done training camp before and lost weight before, he can do it. I would imagine that Fury would do it and hope so as well. He’s a character and he’s gone through a lot of s*** in his life. I would hope that the answers he’s looking for are in boxing and I wish him well in that. He seems to be enjoying training. That’s the main thing. If he can keep that enjoyment factor going, I think he’ll lose the weight, I think he will be fit.”

While Bellew is nearing the end of his career, Coldwell is adamant the former cruiserweight champion is still developing as a fighter. “He is improving. Come a Tyson Fury fight, he’s going to be better than what he is now. He’s going to be better than what he would be against David Haye. But I don’t really want to speak about anything that comes after May 5 because this is boxing and I know what happens in boxing. Especially in heavyweight boxing. You can make all the plans you want and get wiped out. The same things we said for the first fight apply to the second fight with Haye. David Haye can take anybody out with one shot. So you have to be switched on completely. Bellew took some bombs off him last time. Even though you think you can take the shots, when you know that you can take shots that’s good. But Haye is going to go with more speed so he catches him with shots he doesn’t see. There’s a big difference between taking a big shot you can see and taking a big shot you don’t see. That’s where Tony’s now got to up his game and prepare for things like that,” Coldwell said. “I just look at one fight at a time. I don’t care about anything else.”

Tony bellew

But repeating a win over Haye would establish Bellew in the division, even if he is an unlikely heavyweight. His trainer sees a logic to taking on Fury. “When we win that, then we can talk about what’s happening next. I wanted him to retire after the first one. Obviously he wanted to have the rematch,” Coldwell said. “I know he’s said that he’d want to fight Fury after and if that’s what he wants to do, there’s a big difference between wanting a fighter to pack in because you feel that he’s sliding and wanting a fighter to pack it in because in your opinion he’s got nothing else to prove. Bellew’s improving. He’s just turned 35 but he’s improving.

“There are one or two fights left in him. The fights that are left in him have got to be fights he sees as a challenge where he can get his teeth into. That’ll give him the motivation.”