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Fury vs Bellew on tap? Why Tony should accept the challenge

Lee Cleveland Updated
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After David Haye, citing injury, officially pulled out of his December 17 rematch with Tony Bellew, Tyson Fury stepped in to challenge the latter.

“I just heard David Haye has pulled out against Tony "The Bell***" Bellew,” Fury said in a video posted on Instagram.

“I'll be ready, willing and waiting to fight Tony Bellew on May 5 at The O2 in London.

“Like I said Tony, if you want to fight a real man, the best heavyweight in the world, the heavyweight who beat everyone else, the real heavyweight champion of the world, I'm ready and waiting."

But promoter Eddie Hearn seems to be hanging on to Haye, insisting he'll wait for an update on David's prognosis and a possible date to reschedule before looking at other options.

Why wouldn't Tony want to take this fight? It would be a golden – and lucky – opportunity, especially for a fella who has had just one heavyweight fight.

The Real and legitimate title
Tyson Fury is the lineal/RING Magazine heavyweight champion of the world. It's his lineage that dates back to legends such as Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis. 

Few heavyweights, even world champions, get the opportunity to fight for the RING Magazine title.

The RING Magazine, often referred to as the 'Bible of Boxing,' was founded in 1922 and began awarding world championship belts upon its establishment. A fighter with boxing's RING Magazine title (i.e. the lineal distinction) is best described as "the man who beat the man."

Unlike sanctioning bodies, The RING is not influenced by money or politics and receives no reward for its services.


The RING Magazine's objective is to maintain, preserve and protect the integrity of boxing. And their lineal championship system is "intended to reward fighters who, by satisfying 'old-school' criteria, can justify a claim as the true and only world champion in a given weight class.

Unlike world titles granted by sanctioning bodies such as WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF, the prestigious RING title can only be won by:

1) defeating the previous lineal champion in the ring or
2) via a box-off between two or more top-ranked contenders in the event the previous lineal champ retired.

Tyson Fury is the 'man who beat the man' (Wladimir Klitschko) and holds the honorable distinction as THE heavyweight champion of the world.

Fury's preparation and readiness - A big question mark?
Should Bellew face the same Tyson Fury that defeated Wladimir Klitschko in October 2015, the odds for an upset would be remote. However, Tyson probably won't be that guy come May 5.

Can Tyson Fury fully rebound from a drug problem, an astounding 100 plus pound weight gain and lengthy layoff? If so, there’s a chance he won’t be able to regain maximum form, physically or mentally, by May.

Fury's return bout will be huge because people will want to know if he's still on top of his game, having been away for 2 1/2 years. Moreover, the charismatic, controversial Fury is a ticket seller so Tony shouldn't expect a downgraded purse for facing Tyson.

Counterpoint: Big man vs little man
Of course the ugly downside for Bellew is apparent. Tyson is a big heavyweight while Bellew was a 175 pound light heavyweight not long ago. Fury’s enormous size advantage and overall experience as a heavyweight would make him a strong favorite. Nevertheless, Bellew would be fighting a presumably rusty Tyson who might not be ready for Tony's speed and scrapy style.

Should the upset happen
If Fury is ill-prepared and Bellew manages to orchestrate the upset, Tony would have a lot more leverage heading into the showdown he covets with New Zealand rival and WBO champion Joseph Parker. Not only will be have beaten the mighty Fury, he'd have the most coveted title in sports in his possession. 

Bellew would be a considerable underdog against a healthy David Haye anyway, so why shouldn’t he roll the dice for the bigger marbles and face Fury?


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