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Hearn wants Tony Bellew vs. Andre Ward after Haye rematch

Andre Ward Tony Bellew

By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn says he wants to put together a fight between former WBC World cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew and former 2 division world champion Andre “SOG” Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) after the rematch against David Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) on May 5th at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

Hearn favors Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) to beat the 32-year-old Ward, who hasn’t fought since beating Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev by a controversial 8th round knockout last year on June 17th in their rematch in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hearn thinks that Bellew’s size advantage will be too much for Ward to deal with, as he started his career out at super middleweight, and he only moved up to light heavyweight in 2016 in pursuit of a good –paying fight against Kovalev.

“I think Bellew has a great chance to beat Andre Ward at cruiserweight,” Hearn said to IFL TV. “Most probably don’t agree with me, because Andre Ward is pound-for-pound if not the best, one of the best fighters in the world. I think when Bellew in the ring at 15 stone plus, Andre Ward is a super middleweight, who crept up to light heavyweight, it’s a massive jump in weight to give away. I know Tony will be the underdog, but I would love to make Bellew vs. Andre Ward, and I believe Tony Bellew will beat David Haye on May the 5th. I would like to make the Ward fight after,” Hearn said.

Hearn is getting ahead of himself by assuming that Bellew will beat David Haye on the 5th of May. I think the injury that Haye suffered last March against Bellew has Hearn forgetting the deals of how the fight was playing out before the injury occurred in the first 5 rounds. Bellew was getting beaten by Haye, who was doing little more than jabbing. The way the fight was playing out, Bellew was on his way to losing a 12 round decision. Without the injury Haye suffered to his Achilles, Bellew would have lost the fight for sure.

If I were Hearn, I’d be assuming that Bellew loses to Haye unless there’s a miracle injury that saves his hide in the rematch. In terms of match-making for Bellew, I’d be thinking of looking to get him in a nice confidence booster type of match to get him back in the winning ways. I’d move Bellew back down to cruiserweight and put him in with someone like Thabiso Mchunu or maybe Marco Huck. Those are both beatable guys that Bellew can fight if/when he loses to Haye on May 5t.

Hearn will need to make a big enough offer to Ward to lure him out of retirement, because right now he’s comfortable and not thinking about returning to boxing. Negotiating a fight with Ward won’t be easy for Hearn. Ward will likely want to be the A-side and will want the bigger purse than Bellew. If Bellew beats David Haye in their rematch on May 5th, it’s hard to picture him agreeing to accept a smaller purse than Ward. The fight might be doable at a 50-50 purse split, but would Bellew agree to that?

Bellew is also interested in fighting WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs) if he gets past IBF/WBA champion Murat Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs) in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament on May 11th. Bellew wants to try and use his WBC emeritus status to force Usyk to fight him. It might not work. Usyk wants to move up to heavyweight after the WBSS tournament is over with. Bellew will be wasting his time by trying to force Usyk to fight him if he’s already vacated his WBC title. In that case, Bellew could get stuck fighting Krzytif Glowacki, and he probably wants nothing to do with that hard-hitting southpaw. Glowacki is not an easy mark like Illunga Makabu proved to be for Bellew with him winning the vacant WBC cruiserweight title in May 2016. The World Boxing Council has greatly improved their rankings since then with Glowacki ranked No.1. Bellew would probably lose badly to Glowacki by a knockout if he made the mistake of agreeing to a fight with him, which I don’t think he will.

”He [Bellew] wants to fight [Oleksandr] Usyk, which is a great fight,” Hearn said. “Usyk has to fight [Murat] Gassiev, which I favor Gassiev in that fight. These fights are brutal contests. Bellew-Haye is a brutal fight for Tony. Usyk is a brutal fight. The Ward fight is not a brutal fight. There’s a chance he’ll be out-boxed by Andre Ward. I don’t see it as a brutal fight. He [Bellew] won’t fight Anthony Joshua, and I don’t think he’ll fight Deontay Wilder. Joshua and Wilder hit like a train. [Tyson] Fury doesn’t hit like a train. He’s technically very good. He’s not a puncher. That’s the difference. He [Bellew] feels like he could beat Fury. He’d love to fight Fury. I’d love to make that fight. I could make that fight this summer,” Hearn said.

Tyson Fury isn’t going to fight Bellew, especially if he runs from Haye all night long in their fight on May 5th. Fury wants to fight heavyweights that are there to fight. He’s not going to want to chase a runner like Bellew around the ring for 12 rounds. Fury has had to shed a lot of weight, and he’s not going to be interested in chasing Bellew inside the ring. If Hearn was wise, he’d have a little talk with Bellew about making sure he looks good and doesn’t spoil against Haye. It’s important that Bellew make the fight an exciting one if not for himself, then for all the boxing fans that will be ordering the Bellew-Haye 2 fight on Sky Box Office. To get someone like Fury or Andre Ward interested in fighting him, Bellew will need to show that he can stand and fight it out rather than dashing away each time Haye looks at him wrong. It was awful watching Bellew dart backwards each time Haye looked to initiate against him last March.

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