Tony Bellew says his 'dream' bout wouldn't be against David Haye, as he would, in fact, like a unification fight with Denis Lebedev to happen first.
Bellew successfully defended his WBC Cruiserweight strap with a brutal showing against Haye's long-time friend BJ Flores last weekend, and immediately went on the offensive to draw Haye in to a fight with him.
However, the 33-year-old has now said he would prefer to take on Russian IBF and WBA title holder Lebedev before he faces Haye some time next year.
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"The dream fight is Denis Lebedev, it really is, but the dream is very hard to make," he commented in an interview with BBC Radio Merseyside.
"In an ideal world my next fight would be Lebedev and then maybe him. But I'll be honest, I really don't know. We'll see where it goes."
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Lebedev (29-2) already has a defence scheduled for December 3 against unbeaten fellow Russian Murat Gassiev, so any bout with Bellew would be contingent on that result and could only feasibly take place in 2017.
The veteran 37-year-old is a well seasoned two-time world champion with impressive wins over James Toney and Roy Jones Jr. on his record, meaning he would present Bellew with the biggest challenge of his career without a doubt.
However, despite the ambition to fight Lebedev, Bellew knows it might not be possible and said of a potential bout with Haye: "I might have to bypass Denis Lebedev and the dream of being undisputed unified champion, and just go for it and try to be heavyweight champ - I think it sounds a bit better to be honest.
"We [Bellew and Haye] have been having meetings and we're going over things - both of us want it but we'll see where it goes.
"I've got no problem fighting at heavyweight, not a problem at all...I was a heavyweight as an amateur and I've always been pretty sure that I was destined to be a heavyweight as a professional also, so it was only a matter of time."
Haye recently made a comeback to the ring after an absence of nearly four years and after two fights is already looking at becoming a world champion for a third time in his career.
The 36-year-old seemed bemused at Bellew's taunts following last weekend's fight with Flores and it seems that the Liverpudlian is chasing the fight more aggressively than his long-time rival.
Whichever fight comes next it is sure to be entertaining with Bellew's fireworks involved both in and out of the ring.
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