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20th Jun 2017

Tony Bellew is happy to fight the pound-for-pound king next

Names don't come much bigger

Darragh Murphy

The last time Tony Bellew fought, his opponent weighted in at 224lbs.

And while ‘The Bomber’ gave up substantial size to David Haye during Bellew’s victory over his fiercest rival, he would welcome the chance to be the bigger man against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Fresh from his weekend victory over Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward announced an intention to move up in weight to test his skills against boxing’s bigger boys.

Having just defended his WBA, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles via a controversial stoppage over Kovalev, Ward insisted that no man was too big to be taken into consideration for his next outing.

Anthony Joshua’s was one of the names on Ward’s lips in the wake of his second win over Kovalev in seven months.

It’s unlikely that Ward will get Joshua straight away, given the lucrative options open to ‘AJ’ but perhaps he’ll get another British heavyweight.

Tony Bellew, anyone?

Bellew has insisted that he would dispatch Ward with little difficulty and welcomed the opportunity to share the ring with the man who is largely viewed as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

“He’s a great guy. If he really wants to do it – I’m game, it’s as simple as that,” Bellew told Sky Sports.

“Like I say, I do respect him, he’s an amazing fighter. He’s very good at what he does.

“But I’m a full blown, big cruiserweight. I’m not a light heavyweight who is struggling anymore and I’ve just shown that I can deal with one of the most powerful heavyweights in the world.

“I would have no problem dealing with Andre Ward.”

Ward vs. Bellew would provide the Liverpudlian with a clear bath to the United States market, where most fighters make their money, but the shadow of a Haye rematch in Britain looms large over Bellew.

If Bellew vs. Haye II is to come to fruition, the former will insist on some conditions being met.

“I am willing to do it (fight Haye), not a problem, as long as I have some say this time, because last time I had zero say and I was quite open about saying that in the build-up,” Bellew said.

“The only thing I could do was choose my gloves and choose my shorts. But this time I want a little bit more say in how things are going to go and how things are ran, and in the percentages as well. I had zero say last time.”