Former cruiserweight world champion, in fact the longest reigning cruiserweight champion of all time, Johnny Nelson, has suggested that Tony Bellew is the most astute boxer around today.
In an interview given to IFL yesterday, the Yorkshireman was asked a series of quickfire questions relating to the shenanigans and manoeuvring surrounding the Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder fight, the logic behind Dillian Whyte fighting Kiwi Joseph Parker this weekend and the potential future matchup between Tony Bellew and the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.
On the planned, but yet to be confirmed Joshua - Wilder matchup, Nelson was adamant that both men want to fight and although the commercial realities and negotiations by both backroom teams have forced the current stalemate, the Sky Sports pundit is convinced the fight will go ahead.
"It’s the business side of this game, and unfortunately that’s, you know, speak to both fighters. They want it heavily."
With Whyte versus Parker taking place this weekend - a bout neither man didn't neccessarily have to take on - Nelson feels Whyte's fearless approach reminds him of the great American, Joe Frazier, who just liked to get in the ring.
The US boxing legend was happiest doing his business in the ring and often took fights that had little or no tangible benefit to his career, or prospects other than to fight.
Nelson feels that the fight adds nothing to Whyte's career lending itself more to the fortunes of Joseph Parker, who needs to be in the ring against a highly ranked boxer if he has any chance of resurrecting his career.
Meanwhile, Tony Bellew has been thrown back into the spotlight this week after being called out by inaugural World Boxing Super Series champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk will represent a formidable challenge to Bellew but just by the fact 'The Bomber' is openly considering the clash makes Nelson think he might just have a plan to beat the Ukranian.
"If it does happen I'm going to go with Tony Bellew," he said.
"Tony Bellew is the most astute active fighter of the fight game at this moment in time. So if he's taking this fight, he sees a way of beating Usyk.
"Usyk is the baddest. I tipped him to win this tournament from the off so Tony Bellew must know there is a way to beat him.
"I won't doubt him. I have doubted him once or twice before. He knows the fight game. He's not going in there to make up the numbers."
High praise indeed.
Bellew is wise and experienced enough to know what he can and can't do at this stage of his career. Becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world would simply be the icing on the cake.News Now - Sport News