Tony Bellew says he still considers Andre Ward an inspirational figure

Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew Press Conference

Tony Bellew has recalled the motivational words given to him by Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward two years ago.

Ward retired unbeaten in 32 pro fights and accrued world titles in two weight classes, including the unified WBA, WBC, Ring magazine, and lineal super-middleweight titles between 2009 and 2015; and the unified WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring light-heavyweight titles between 2016 and 2017.

During his reign as light heavyweight champion the ‘Son of God’ was ranked as the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer and had standout victories over Carl Froch and Sergey Kovalev.

Bellew met Ward on the set of Creed, a film that received critical acclaim where both fighters were unanimously praised for their performances. Ward has always respected Bellew as a fighter and has expressed interest in coming out of retirement to touch gloves with the Liverpudlian in the UK.

‘The Bomber’ identified the respect afforded to him by Ward as he nears his challenge for Oleksandr Usyk’s undisputed world cruiserweight titles on November 10 at the Manchester Arena.

“I fought anyone,” Bellew told Off Limits about his legacy. “I was told that a long time ago by an amazing fighter called Andre Ward.

“When we were doing the movie Creed together, we were in the truck and he said: ‘do you know the one thing I respect about you?’

“Bear in mind, I didn’t think he would know who I was. He said: ‘The one thing I respect about you is that you will fight anyone’.”

Andre Ward v Sergey Kovalev 2

“For him to say that to me, I should have known then that I had won. As long as I’m remembered as a fighter who will fight anyone, and will give everything, and will never know when he’s beaten – that is my greatest asset.”

Bellew held the WBC cruiserweight title and is looking to end his stellar career as the holder of all four major belts in the division by ending Usyk’s unbeaten record.

“I will find a way to defeat the monster. I don’t know how or when, or at what stage it will happen,” Bellew said.

“But I will get him. I’ll get him. He will feel something that he’s never felt. Let’s see if he wants this as much as me. If he does, you’re in for the best night of fighting ever.”

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