Tony Bellew had his say on the developments towards an all-British heavyweight clash between WBC Champion Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, the former WBC Cruiserweight Champion said that, despite Joshua’s last two fights seeing him lose twice and emerge belt-less, he’s still the biggest draw in heavyweight boxing.
“AJ is the biggest draw in the heavyweight division. I’m sorry to say it guys, it doesn’t matter if he’s lost twice or not, he’s still the biggest draw. There’s a reason why he does what he does. He’s just been brilliantly managed, promoted, and it’s been a dream – but, ultimately, he knocks people out.
Yes, he’s coming off the back of two defeats, but why is the best fighter in the world calling his name? Why does he want to face him? You’ve got to ask that question, and when you start putting out offers and saying ‘I’ll give you 60/40’ – I’m not being funny guys but people like Conor McGregor, people like Anthony Joshua, they don’t bow to other people’s demands, because the draw they bring is so big.”
It has to be noted that, whilst we can take Fury’s word that the purse split would be 60/40, the amount of money those percentages are from hasn’t been made public. Still, general reaction is that, on the surface of it, the split is fair considering ‘The Gypsy King’ would be putting the WBC world title on the line.
Pressed on what he would do if he was in AJ’s shoes, Bellew went on to say that he would be ‘hesitant’ to take the fight at the current terms offered.
“I think if you’re going to be reasonable and say this is 50/50 then I think it would be crazy not to take it, but at 60/40, personally if I was him – and I’m not him, I wish I bleedin’ was – then I would be hesitant, because you bring an awful lot to the table, probably more than the champion himself.”
“Anthony Joshua changed boxing in this country – you can’t deny that and neither can I, it’s just a fact. I know because I was in it when he was in it. I was here before he was there and I was here after he’s been here, so I understand what’s being earned by fighters.”
“People don’t like me saying this because I’m friends with him. I know Tyson as well. Tyson might not like me these days because my opinions of AJ is so high. My opinion of him is so high because of what he’s done, and you can’t lowball a guy who generates what he generates. It’s impossible. It’s madness.”
If Bellew’s thoughts happen to be echoed by AJ’s camp, this could be the first bump in the road for a fight that many fans remain sceptical about.