December 5, 2017
December 5, 2017
Tony Bellew

Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

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TONY BELLEW has a tortured history with David Haye. They were due to fight a rematch on December 17, but Haye had to withdraw after tearing his biceps.

He has to chosen to fight David Haye again on May 5 2018 at the O2 in London.

It means Bellew will be out of the ring for more than 14 months before he fights again. “It’s meant that Tony’s going to be out the ring for such a long period of time, which for me as his coach pisses me off because he’s got momentum,” Dave Coldwell told Boxing News. “It’s frustrating that he’s been out of the ring for so long.”

Bellew did have lucrative options. As well as the rescheduled rematch with Haye next year, Tyson Fury has voiced an interest in coming back to fight the Liverpudlian. Both are a gamble. Haye has to get fit to fight and Fury needs to go before the national anti-doping panel to get a boxing licence back, not to mention that he himself will need to get in shape.

“The most desirable fights that are out there are: there’s Haye because it’s unfinished business, there’s [Tyson] Fury because there’s just absolutely massive and then there’s [Joseph] Parker because it’s the WBO and you’d love to get hold of that,” his trainer said.

Coldwell explained the appeal of taking the Haye rematch. “This is actually 50-50 because if you look at his last eight scheduled fights, he’s pulled out of four of them. So he is 50-50. But the thing is Tony’s got this in his head where he does want to fight David Haye, he does want to close the saga now. It’s like a soap opera now. Everything’s gone off between the two. He wants to put an end to it and not say anything else. That’s it, it’s done,” his trainer said. “The pros are Bellew wants it. It will shut a lot of people up because again people are expecting in the rematch that Haye goes out and wipes Tony out. It’ll be nice to prove everybody wrong again. The downside is … you’re running the risk. Until he gets in that ring you don’t know 100 percent. Which to be fair, you can say that about any fighter. All fighters get injuries, all fighters get colds, chest infections. Many fighters have pulled out of big fights throughout history. It’s just that he’s got that black mark against his name.”

“If the old shoulder injury broke down or his Achilles went again, you’d be like that’s it, it’s not going to happen again,” he continued. “There are problems taking a fight with David Haye but there are with everybody else.

“There’s pros and cons to everything. You’ve just got to weigh up the pros and the cons. If it’s worth going for, then you go for it. If it’s not then you look at a different option.”

There would be risks with fighting Tyson Fury too. “Tyson Fury isn’t a destructive puncher so yes you’ve still got the problem with the height, the reach, the boxing ability but he’s not a monstrous puncher,” Coldwell noted. “Tony will fight absolutely anybody, but given the right preparation you would look at a Fury fight. The fact is the Fury fight is the same as the Haye fight, he’s pulled out [of fights], he’s got issues to sort out and everything. Again if the fight happens that’s a massive, massive fight. Again you’re looking at risk versus reward. If Tony pulled that off it would be a massive, massive win. It would be a huge shock. The risk and the pros and cons of it are kind of worth it, taking that sort of fight.

“Ultimately you don’t know until fight night, that goes for any fight.”

tony bellew

Coldwell revealed that Bellew is planning on only having one or two more fights before retiring from competing. He said, “Tony’s looking at one, two fights maximum left in his career. So you’ve got to have two fights there that you can get up for after winning a WBC world title at Goodison, accomplishing all your dreams after securing your family’s future in the mega-fight with David Haye. When you go from there? You can’t drop back down because otherwise the motivation’s not there.

“Motivation, what you’re getting out of it, all come into play when you reach this sort of stage in your career, when you’re looking at one, two fights left you’ve got to make them count.”