Tony Bellew wants David Haye bout to come after 'dream' Denis Lebedev fight

Tony Bellew
Tony Bellew secured the cruiserweight belt against Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park

Tony Bellew says he would prefer to fight fellow world cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev in a unification bout next, before taking on David Haye.

The 33-year-old called out fellow Brit Haye after his third-round knockout of American BJ Flores on 15 October.

Bellew, who won the WBC world title belt in May, is in talks with Haye over a possible fight at heavyweight.

"The dream fight is Denis Lebedev, it really is, but the dream is very hard to make," he told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"In an ideal world my next fight would be Lebedev and then maybe him. But I'll be honest, I really don't know. We'll see where it goes."

Russian Lebedev holds the WBA and IBF cruiserweight titles, and the winner of any potential contest would become undisputed world champion.

Former world heavyweight champion Haye, 36, initially retired from boxing in 2011 and, after beating Dereck Chisora in 2012, was absent from the ring for three years before announcing his return in 2015.

He most recently won a second-round stoppage against Kosovo's Arnold Gjergjaj in May.

"I might have to bypass Denis Lebedev and the dream of being undisputed unified champion, and just go for it and try to be heavyweight champ - I think it sounds a bit better to be honest," added Bellew.

"We [Bellew and Haye] have been having meetings and we're going over things - both of us want it but we'll see where it goes.

"I've got no problem fighting at heavyweight, not a problem at all.

"I was a heavyweight as an amateur and I've always been pretty sure that I was destined to be a heavyweight as a professional also, so it was only a matter of time."

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