Tony Bellew “definitely wants to fight again” and a showdown with former pound-for-pound king Andre Ward would “give him the fire”, says his trainer David Coldwell.
The Merseysider had hinted he could enter retirement after he stopped David Haye again in this month’s rematch, but fully intends to fight again following recent talks about his future.
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Trainer Coldwell insists he is happy for Bellew to continue his career, provided that he faces an opponent that is going to bring out the 35-year-old’s burning desire for victory.
“I said it straight after the fight, and I said it after the first Haye fight, I would love him to retire,” Coldwell told Sky Sports.
“He’s had a fantastic career. He’s done everything and more than what he ever set out to achieve, but at the same time, he’s still improving in the gym. He’s not on the slide, he’s not failing to pull the trigger, he’s not showing signs of deterioration in the gym. He’s getting better and better each camp at this stage.
“I understand that he wants to carry on. I understand that. As long as it’s a fight that’s going to get the fire burning in his belly, make him want to come to the gym, make him work as hard as he always works hard. As long as it’s a fight like that, I get that. I’m happy for him to do so.
“We spoke the other day, and he did say that if that fight had been that hard where it dims and maybe put out the fire, but he says instead it made the flames burn even brighter.
“He definitely wants to fight again, whether it’s Ward, whether it’s Fury, I don’t know.”
Bellew revealed last week he was “very serious” about fighting Ward, who himself entered retirement after a rematch win over Sergey Kovalev, and Coldwell believes he would be an ideal foe.
“It’s the same sort of thing where everyone thinks that Bellew is going to get smashed,” said Coldwell. “That’s the motivation right there.
Bellew targeted Andre Ward after rematch win over David Haye
“The motivation is fighting a pound-for-pound great fighter, an absolute great, phenomenal fighter in Ward, and the motivation of beating somebody like that for you legacy and for what you are walking away from the sport is – it’s phenomenal.
“They are the kind of fights that’s going to give him the fire, give the motivation. He doesn’t have to have an opponent in there that he doesn’t like, he just has to have that buzz about the fight.”
Watch Jamie McDonnell, in Tokyo, on Friday, May 25, from 1pm, live on Sky Sports Action before Kal Yafai takes on David Carmona in the early hours of Sunday morning, from 2.30am, on Sky Sports Action.