Tony Bellew’s win over David Haye last Saturday night makes him an option for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s next title defense. Wilder’s promoter Lou Dibella says that they would consider fighting Bellew. WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker is the fight that Wilder and Dibella really want most of all.
That would be a unification fight. Bellew would be another voluntary defense for Wilder, who has already have 5 of them since winning the WBC title two years ago in 2015. If the World Boxing Council lets Wilder take a 6th consecutive voluntary defense, then Bellew (29-2, 19 KOs) would be a possibility.
Bellew stopped Haye in the 11th round last Saturday night in a big upset at the O2 Arena in London, England. Bellew knocked Haye down in round 11. When Haye was in the process of getting back up, his trainer threw in the towel to have the fight halted. The only drawback to Bellew’s win was the fact that Haye tore his right Achilles tendon in round 6, and he fought with the injury the remainder of the fight. As long as the boxing fans don’t concentrate on the facts of why Haye lost, they can give Bellew credit for pulling off an upset.
Concentrating on Haye’s injury and how it impacted the fight, it would lead to fans not giving the 34-year-old Bellew much credit for winning the fight. The real question is would Bellew have won the fight if not for the injury to Haye? We’ll never know. All we do know is Haye was in control of the fight going into the 6th round.
“We’re not adverse to considering Tony Bellew,” DiBella said to skysports.com. “We congratulate Bellew. I’m a big fan of Tony’s. It’s not something we would write off. We respect him and it would certainly be something we would be interested in.”
Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn said that Wilder and Joseph Parker are the two options that he’s considering for his next fight. Hearn thinks he can get one of those heavyweight champions to agree to give Bellew a title shot. Bellew’s victory over the injured Haye would be the only thing that he has going for him to justify to the boxing fans and the sanctioning bodies that he deserves to fight for a world title.
Joseph Parker could beat Wilder to the Bellew fight. Parker has already expressed interest in facing Bellew. That’s probably a better option for the 6’3” Bellew than facing the 6’7” Wilder, who would have a big reach and power advantage over him. Parker is 6’4” and easier to hit than Wilder.
“A Joseph Parker fight would be the most desirable fight for Deontay next anyway, but you have to look at other alternatives,” said Dbella.
Bellew’s promoter will put him in a title fight that gives him the best possible chance of success. Bellew would be at a great disadvantage no matter which champion he faces. He had the perfect opponent with the 36-year-old Haye last weekend with him a bum ankle. It would be a different story for Bellew against a healthy Wilder or Parker.