Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KO’s) may have to wait for his title shot against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 KO’s) for a title while longer because Stevenson is looking to slip in an optional title defense before the Bellew fight against former IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO’s).
The Stevenson vs. Cloud fight could wind up on HBO. The winner of the fight would then have to face Bellew within three months, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
Stevenson recently won the WBC title by stopping Chad Dawson in the 1st round last month in Montreal, Canada.
Bellew beat Isaac Chilemba by a 12 round unanimous decision last May to put himself in position for the title shot against Stevenson.
Cloud lost his IBF title to Bernard Hopkins on March 9th of this year in losing by a 12 round unanimous decision.
It might be good that Bellew waits because the poor defense that he showed in his two fights against Chilemba as well as in his loss to WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly in 2011 suggests that Bellew would get beaten badly by Stevenson if that fight were to happen right now.
At least if Bellew has a little more time to wait he could improve a little before he eventually faces the winner of the Stevenson-Cloud fight.
Bellew matches up a lot better with Cloud than he does against the hard hitting southpaw Stevenson. By letting Cloud get a crack at Stevenson first, Bellew has the chance that Cloud could possibly pull off an upset and that would make Bellew’s job much easier. Cloud would still be a tough fight for Bellew, but it’s definitely the easier fight for him than trying to tackle Stevenson.
Cloud vs. Stevenson is the much more interesting fight for Canadian and American fans compared to Stevenson vs. Bellew, because Bellew is still an unknown to U.S and Canadian audiences except with hardcore boxing fans.