LONDON - The little fat Scouser, as Tony Bellew describes himself, is raising his gaze to superstar stadium fights against Andre Ward and Tyson Fury at his beloved Everton’s Goodison Park.
The playboy of the boxing world, as David Haye calls himself, now faces the abyss of retirement or a black hole reeking of more corrosion of his record.
Bellew’s destruction of the Hayemaker has widened such unexpected horizons that he spent his Sunday lunch begging permission from the woman he marries this summer to carry on slugging.
Meanwhile, Haye has had his hopes of a Wembley command performance against world champion Anthony Joshua put through the shredder of his broken body, and he is left rummaging among the debris of his career.
Bellew truly believes he can take down Ward, who will be ranked among the world’s pound-for-pound greatest boxers when he renounces his retirement, and Fury, as he makes his comeback.
Those of us who questioned Bellew’s capacity for thrashing Haye a second time had better be wary of doubting him again. His promoter harbours no such qualms.
Eddie Hearn left the O2 long after midnight talking of 50,000 crowds at Goodison for Ward "soon" and Fury "within a year".
"Ward now wants this fight," Hearn said. "As for Fury; when Tony was close to giving up on Haye ever being ready for this rematch, he shook hands with Tyson on a deal.
"I told him, think about the low calibre of fighters Fury wants to face in his first few fights and that he ain’t gonna fight you now. But it can be a huge fight next year."
Bellew says simply: "Tyson’s not as big a puncher as Joshua, Deontay Wilder . . . or David Haye."
Ward, 34, the multi-title world champion at super-middle and light-heavyweight who retired last year, is pondering a comeback and Bellew has approached him personally. The American appeared alongside the Liverpudlian in Creed, the latest movie in the Rocky franchise.
It is not known whether Bellew mentioned to Ward this opinion of how the fight, at an agreed cruiserweight, would go: "I would out-box Andre and knock him out," Bellew said on Saturday night.
"I know you’ll laugh and say I’d have no chance. He’s an all-time great but I’m the only one who can beat him at his own biggest strength, boxing on the inside. He will always be remembered as greater than me but I have a certain set of skills which he has never faced before."
Those techniques were as fundamental to Bellew’s conquests of Haye as the injuries which have plagued his more celebrated rival.
Although it was not a world-class contest and no titles were at stake, the bout was a thriller in its own right, enacted by two men in the goldfish bowl of their personal enmity.
At 37, in the parlance of his battle hymn, ‘there ain’t no help for Haye now’, as he ponders a bleak future.
At 35, Bellew is coming of age. In the lyrics of four of his fellow Merseysiders: "You’ve got to believe he’s getting better, he’s getting better all the time."Daily Mail