WBC world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew wants a unification fight with WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in the future, though admits it could be his final outing.
The hard-hitting Liverpudlian made the first defence of his crown at the weekend when he demolished BJ Flores in three rounds at the Echo Arena in his hometown.
Though Bellew has been linked to a potential fight with David Haye, he is also keen to unify the 200lb division, which would mean a meeting with WBA and IBF champion Denis Lebedev.
“Denis Lebedev first then Usyk. Whatever happens it’s going to be a career-defining fight,” he told Boxing News.
“The Usyk fight could be my last fight I’ll be honest, he’d be ahead in the fight when I chin him but I’d have to absorb and endure an awful lot of punishment in the process. I’m not looking forward to the day it happens, I want it to happen but I’m not looking forward to it.”
Unbeaten Usyk won the WBO belt from Krzysztof Glowacki last month in just his 10th fight to push himself ahead of the cruiserweight pack.
The destructive southpaw, who was an outstanding amateur, is a fierce talent and Bellew is aware that the punishment he would take in a fight against him may lead to him hanging up the gloves for good.
Bellew, who stopped Ilunga Makabu in three rounds to win the vacant WBC title earlier this year, believes he is the top dog at cruiser and feels Usyk is the only operator who can contend with him for that mantle.
“He’s the only fighter in the division who can challenge me for supremacy,” he continued.
“I’m technically streets ahead of Lebedev, I could make the fight easy and box him and make it dull and easy. Usyk, he does everything good so I’m going to have to box and fight and in the end turn it into a dogfight and that means taking an awful amount of stick, but I do think I’d come out victorious.”