Former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew has revealed that he is a 'serious threat' to Tyson Fury, and that Fury knows it.
'The Gypsy King' made his long-awaited comeback to professional boxing earlier this month, defeating Albanian cruiserweight Sefer Seferi within four rounds in what Bellew described as a 'circus' of a fight.
"I thought it was a circus, the opponent was a joke. But ultimately, he's been out the ring for the best part of three years and you're allowed one of them guys on your return," Bellew said.
It's true, Seferi was the ideal match-up for Fury's comeback, but now he needs to up his game.
After successive stoppage wins over David Haye though, Bellew, 36, has embossed his name on the heavyweight division, and is hoping to be rewarded with a big-money fight against Fury from Eddie Hearn.
Early talks of a Fury-Bellew bout were quashed by Fury, who claimed he wouldn't want to fight Bellew because 'he has a family', and he wouldn't want to injure him. More recently, this week Fury claimed there would be nothing to gain by facing Bellew if there were no titles on the line.
'The Bomber' has a different take, however, and thinks his British rival has distanced himself from a potential clash since watching his last victory over David Haye.
"I'm a serious threat for Tyson," he told Sky Sports. "I think Tyson looked at me when he was on his way back and thought 'yeah that's a nice, easy fight', and then he's just seen what I've done to David Haye and he's thought, you know what, I've got to take this guy seriously.
"No one has ever done to David Haye what I've just done to him. I bullied him, I beat him up, and I stopped him in emphatic fashion. No one's ever done that.
"People will say 'Tony didn't beat the proper David Haye'. I gave you that the first time round. The second time I showed you the real me, the real man who's got used to fighting at over 14st 4 [lbs].
"If I fight Tyson Fury, I will deal with him swiftly and viciously, the exact same way I dealt with David Haye."
Of course, it's worth pointing out David Haye was fighting a lost cause, a battle back to the top which arguably he shouldn't have taken. Whereas Fury is several years younger, several inches taller and several stone heavier than both Haye and Bellew.
Swift the fight may be, but whether they can actually agree on a deal to get in the ring remains to be seen.
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