Tony Bellew vows to fight on after stopping David Haye
The 35-year-old stopped David Haye in five rounds in their rematch at London’s 02 Arena, dropping the former WBA heavyweight champion three times and leaving him to consider retirement.
Bellew’s trainer Dave Coldwell and his promoter Eddie Hearn revealed they would also like their fighter to retire, given two significant purses against Haye followed him having achieved his ambitions of winning a world title and fighting at Everton’s Goodison Park.
Despite his victories at heavyweight and the fact he continues to improve, Bellew recognises his natural size compared to that of reigning world champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder means they are too big and powerful for him to challenge.
He regardless considers the less powerful Fury a worthwhile risk and believes American Ward – a world champion at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight – can be tempted out of retirement.
“It’s hard when you’ve had your defining moment in this sport. What am I chasing?” Bellew said.
“I don’t know. I like fighting and challenges and I’ve definitely got a screw loose, so I’ll keep fighting until the screw detaches itself. I’m not stopping now. See if I can talk [wife Rachael] round and we’ll go from there. That’s my biggest fight.
“It doesn’t matter what I do. I can’t beat [Goodison Park].
“My first words to [Haye, post-fight] were ‘please stop’. This is a very unforgiving sport, it’s a young man’s game for the attributes Haye relies on. All the attributes he had, he doesn’t possess them. He’s an amazing fighter and will go down better than me.
“I’ll beat Andre Ward. An amazing fighter, but I will beat him. I’d love to knock Tyson Fury out, I really would, and I know I can flatten him. But [I’m not waiting for the returning Fury to have) three or four fights.”
Bellew had struggled with the death of his brother-in-law Ashley Roberts last year. He said: “It’s been emotionally one of the worst camps I’ve had, and I’m in a room at night crying myself to sleep. It’s hard losing a brother-in-law, your missus and the family is broken. I had his dad there [ringside], his brothers, and I left an empty seat [for Roberts] – they’re not cheap – but I know he was there and I dedicate this fight to him. My life’s a mess but it all makes sense in a boxing ring.
“I was hoping for a really hard fight, a war, that he would beat the fight out of me, but this has just added to the flames.”
Hearn also claimed Bellew and Fury had previously agreed a fight before his rematch with Haye who, at 37, is considering hanging up his gloves.
“I’ll have to go back and review exactly what happened then make a decision,” Haye told talkSPORT. “It’s never good to make a decision when everything is up in the air.
“Nobody can say they didn’t get a good night’s entertainment. They definitely got their money’s worth, but the better man won on the night, so congratulations to him.”