Former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) reveals that there were serious negotiations to make a fight with Andre Ward (32-0,16 KOs) - but their talks fell apart over money.
The Liverpool fighter claims that Ward's demands were too excessive.
Back in March, Bellew dropped his WBC strap to make a move to the heavyweight division - where he pulled off a huge upset by stopping David Haye in eleven rounds.
Bellew was willing to return to the cruiserweight division for a fight with Ward.
Ward, who held the WBA, IBF, WBO light heavyweight world titles, would have made the big weight jump.
Two weeks ago, Ward - at age 32 - announced his retirement from the sport.
Bellew claims the agreement to fight Ward was close to getting done - but the Olympic gold medal winner wanted way too much to make the fight a reality.
Once the negotiations with Ward fell apart, Bellew saw the rematch with Haye as the best financial option. That deal was finalized a few days ago, for December 17th at the O2 Arena in London.
“We were close to a fight with Andre Ward, the numbers just didn't stack up and the demands were a bit too much. I have all the respect in the world for Andre Ward, he’s a fantastic fighter, he’s been a formidable title holder for a long time. He’s been pound for pound one of the best in the game, so it wasn’t really much of an option with what was on the table [in terms of what Ward wanted]. In the end I’ll go with what Eddie thinks is the right move and what my team think it the right move and that’s a fight with Hayefaker,” Bellew told Betsafe.com
“Once the Andre Ward fight fell through, I thought there was only one fight for me. I wasn’t willing to wait until Parker and Fury had finished. Even though it was a really close fight, it could have gone either way. I just thought the biggest challenge out there and the biggest amount of respect I’m going to get is fighting David Haye."
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