Andre Ward comments on Tony Bellew calling him out
By Scott Gilfoid: Andre Ward says he wishes former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew nothing but the best after hearing about his 5th round knockout win over David Haye last Saturday, and his apparent interest in facing him.
Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) says he’s still waiting for Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn to call him about a rematch with Carl Froch from seven years after he beat him by a 12 round unanimous decision in Showtime’s Super Six tournament in December 2011. In other words, Ward doesn’t seem like he believes that Hearn will call him about the Froch rematch or a fight against Bellew, who would likely be way out of his league in tangling with the unbeaten former two division world champion.
Ward has been working on the sequel to the movie ‘Creed 2’ lately, and he’s about to start work on ‘The Contender.’ Ward has a full plate right now, and it might take a big offer from Hearn to get him interested in fighting Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) in a pay-per-view fight on Sky Box Office.
“I’ve been blessed. I just got off the set of ‘Creed 2’. I’m on my way to the set for ‘The Contender,’” Ward said to Fighthype. “I had a great opportunity to host the show. I’m focused on that right now. I wish Tony nothing but the best, Man. I’ve been waiting on a phone call from Eddie since the Froch situation happened. When he fought [Mikkel] Kessler for the second time, I’ve been waiting for Eddie to pick up the phone and I still haven’t gotten that phone call,” Ward said.
It sounds like Ward doesn’t believe that Hearn will want to make the fight between him and the 34-year-old Bellew, and I have to agree with him in that. When Hearn was asked last Saturday night whether he’s going to start working on putting together a fight between Bellew and Ward, he said he wasn’t going to worry about anything right now. He just wants to enjoy Bellew’s moment in defeating Haye for the second time. In reading the look on Hearn’s face when Ward’s name was brought up, I got the feeling that he has zero interest in matching Bellew against him. Hearn does not look eager to make the fight. I saw he same look on Hearn’s face when Ward’s name was mentioned as a possible option for Froch in a rematch. Hearn doesn’t look like he fancies the fight for Froch or Bellew.
I think Ward would take Bellew to school and give him a boxing lesson he won’t soon forget. That’s why I see Hearn dragging his feet on making this fight. This is a bad match-up for Bellew, because Ward isn’t injured or old like Haye.
”For sure, I’m totally in,” Ward said when asked if he’s retired or still interested in fighting.
It’s too bad that we probably won’t see Ward fighting Bellew anytime soon. It would have been an interesting fight if they could have worked out the purse split, venue and other things like which fighter comes out first for the ring walk.
Hearn might be thinking about matching Bellew against Anthony Joshua if he can convince the two to put their friendship aside to make the fight. If Bellew and Joshua fight, Hearn would have total control over the promotion of the event without having to share the promotional duties – and the loot – with another promoter.
I doubt that Hearn will bother matching Bellew against the winner of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev, because there’s no money in ‘The Bomber’ facing either of those two tough cruiserweights. Besides, Bellew will lose to both of those guys and quite badly in my opinion. Hearn was saying after the fight last Saturday that Bellew is getting better with each fight.
If Hearn really means what he was saying, then he’s sure as heck isn’t going to let Bellew walk the plank by feeding him to the winner – or loser – of the Usyk-Gassiev fight. Hearn can still make money with Bellew’s fights, which means he’s not going to put him in a situation where he’s going to be ripped to shreds by a real fighter with talent like Usyk and Gassiev. Haye used to be a good fighter many years ago, but the injuries and all the years of inactivity from 2011 to 2018, they’ve worn down his physical skills.
A prime Haye likely would have knocked Bellew out in 2 rounds last Saturday night. It would have been Enzo Maccarinelli 2.0. Bellew was made to order for a prime Haye, but it’s been so many years since the Hayemaker was in his prime. He’s one of those Roy Jones Jr. types of fighters, who thrived until he hit his 30s. Once Haye got into his 30s, his career went downhill. A lot of it obviously was Haye’s own fault by not staying active, but a large part was because of his chronic injury problems. It’s hard to stay active when you’re blowing out your shoulder and Achilles.
If Bellew stays at heavyweight, I suspect that Hearn will try and talk him into facing Joshua or Deontay Wilder. I don’t think Hearn will be able to convince Wilder to take the fight with Bellew until he makes a big offer, because he wants to fight Joshua, not one of his stable fighters. The other options that Hearn will float by Bellew will be one of these fighters:
• Dereck Chisora
• Charles Martin
• Dillian Whyte
• Jarrell Miller
• David Allen
Apart from Martin, those would in house fights for Hearn to make for Bellew. The thing is, I don’t see any of them fitting Bellew’s request that he fights a “mega-star” in his next fight. Those are not mega-stars. They’re just the opposite, in fact.
If Bellew goes back down to cruiserweight, there are only Gassiev or Usyk for him to fight and those guys will both beat him with shocking ease. Those are not shot fighters like Haye. Bellew never beat good fighters when they were in their prime. He lost to Adonis Stevenson in 2013, and I believe he would lose to him again if there was a way for him to get back own to light heavyweight.
Trying to arrange a fight between Ward and Bellew would be a nightmare. Determining what weight the fight should take place at would be a problem as well. Ward has been fighting lately at light heavyweight since 2015, and he would have to move up to at least cruiserweight for a fight between him and Bellew to be feasible.