Tony Bellew is David Haye's only option for a big-money Sky Box Office fight according to Eddie Hearn, and has backed the fight to go ahead at a catchweight of 210lbs, early next year.
Both fighters have been embroiled in a war of words in recent weeks, after Bellew called out Haye following his first world title victory, winning the WBC World cruiserweight belt after knocking out Ilunga Makabu, and already talk of a domestic showdown is on the cards.
And Haye is desperate to make his way back up to the elite end of the sport, after exiting retirement in January. However, his level of opponents have been criticised, having beaten Australian Mark de Mori in the opening round, before also knocking out Arnold Gjergjaj inside two rounds.
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Now the Bermondsey fighter has been presented with the opportunity of a big payday and possibly the chance to challenge for Bellew's WBC cruiserweight belt, which Haye unified along with the WBA and WBO belts back in 2008, if he is willing to drop down from heavyweight.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Hearn said: "Tony is 33 and the Haye fight is so big financially, compared to other fights out there, that it is something you've got to take seriously.
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"You have to remember, Tony came down to 200 pounds and would probably have preferred to fight at 210 against Ilunga Makabu. Can Haye get down to 210 or thereabouts? Probably.
"I can't see Haye manoeuvring a shot at heavyweight just yet, and he wants big money fights. He can't get on Sky Box Office but he can if he fights Bellew.
"For Tony, he really wants a high-profile name at cruiserweight or a unification fight in September and then he could move on to the Haye fight in February or March next year."
It is a contrast of fortunes for both Bellew (27-2-1-KO17) and Haye (28-2-0-KO26), with the Liverpudlian boasting a wealth of options, for his first fight since winning his inaugural world title, while Haye is struggling to mark out any big names, after his low key return to boxing.
Spoilt for choice
WBC champion Grigory Drozd, WBC mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis and WBA and IBF king Denis Lebedev are all possible opponents for the 33-year-old's first title defence. Meanwhile, the chance for Haye to fight Bellew early next year will be too good an opportunity for the Londoner to turn down.
Haye has already stated his intentions for the fight, via his Instagram account, saying Bellew is "going to get smashed to bits", after being branded the "b**** from Bermondsey" by Bellew.
In the meantime, the 35-year-old is hoping to fight another of his bitter rivals, Shannon Briggs later this year, before turning his attentions to the Liverpudlian.
Could Tony Bellew reignite David Haye's career, with a bout early next year? Have your say in the comment box below.
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