Tony Bellew is only a couple of days removed from his WBC cruiserweight title winning heroics at Goodison Park, but “The Bomber” is already talking of a move to heavyweight.
Bellew recovered from a heavy first-round knockdown and roared back to annihilate Ilunga Makabu in the third session on Sunday night at the home of his beloved Everton Football Club. Immediately after the win, the 33-year-old gave an emotional, adrenaline-fuelled interview in which he predictably called out the world’s best cruiserweights, most prominently Russia’s Denis Lebedev.
In a slightly more surprising move, Bellew also thrashed comebacking heavyweight David Haye, who he referred to as “that bitch from Bermondsey”.
“Come back down to your natural weight and fight a real cruiserweight, because you have long enough fighting clowns on that joke channel,” yelled the always animated Liverpudlian, as he continued his tirade.
Haye became cruiserweight champion of the world back in 2007 when he stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck, but he moved up to heavyweight the following year and hasn’t returned to 200lbs since. Ahead of his last fight, against Arnold Gjergjaj, he weighed in at 224lbs.
Given the Londoner’s current size and the fact that he has regularly expressed a desire to unify the heavyweight division since making his return, Bellew is unlikely to coax him back to his former home.
However, Bellew told Sky Sports on Tuesday that he isn’t married to the cruiserweight limit.
“If he [Haye] wants to get down and train properly he could do cruiserweight but he’s happy living the lifestyle he lives and parading around and if that’s the way he wants to do it, we can do it at heavyweight. It’s not an issue. I’ll leave him to weigh whatever he wants”.
Following Bellew’s victory, Haye took to social media in order to respond to the attack. “Get on the list mate, you are going to get smashed to bits,” barked “The Hayemaker” with an air of supreme confidence.
Bellew is confident however, that he can hang with the bigger man based on his experiences sparring with Haye all the way back in 2005. According to the Creed star, he and fellow Liverpool native David Price gave Haye plenty of trouble during those sessions, despite being mere amateurs at the time.
“I’ve sparred with David in the past and he knows what happened when we sparred,” stated Bellew. “I was an unknown amateur at the time. What I will say is that I wasn’t the guy pulling out of a fight 24 hours after that sparring session. He got his backside kicked and then pulled out of the Mark Hobson fight after that session. Hobson actually told him that he’d heard he’d been beaten up by two Scousers in Liverpool and that’s why he was pulling out”.
“He’s got his views and I’ve got mine. The difference is that mine are the truth and his aren’t. He called me a chump but he knows I’m not a chump because I gave him hell in a sparring session back then. The best person to ask on that sparring session is his trainer, Adam Booth”.
“He got bounced all over the ring by me and David Price.”
With the groundwork already laid and the pair’s penchant for hype generation, this fight could be a huge attraction in Britain.