Bellew’s next move: Bellew says he’d “put Stevenson to sleep” at cruiserweight, Tyson Fury says he’d hurt Bellew “properly” at heavyweight

What might Tony Bellew do next? The options are as varied as they are intriguing for “Bomber,” who is of course coming off that repeat stoppage win over David Haye. Retirement is an option, while a fight against the biggest heavyweight on the planet (in terms of physical dimensions) is also a possibility – while Bellew too could drop down in weight to face the current WBC light-heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson at a catch-weight.

Bellew has expressed interest in fighting Tyson Fury, stating how Fury is “not a massive puncher” in the league of an Anthony Joshua or a Deontay Wilder and that he “loves” the idea of fighting the soon to return former heavyweight king. Promoter Eddie Hearn has also gone on record as saying that “if he fights him now, Bellew beats Fury.” Fury, though, has poured cold water on the notion of his taking on Bellew; telling FightHype how he would seriously hurt Bellew if he fought him – this being something he wants to avoid doing.

“I don’t want to fight Tony Bellew,” Fury said. “Reason being, he is a family man. I want him to stay healthy and go home easy to his family. But if he steps into the ring with The Gypsy King and I unleash hellfire on him, he’s only a small man and I could damage and hurt him properly. You ain’t messing with a David Haye who is 20 years out of date. You’re messing with someone 6’9” and 19-stone, in the prime of my life who can knock a wall down. If I go in there and hurt him, what good is that?”

Fury added how, should he hurt Bellew badly, Hearn “Won’t even put a phone call into you. You’re a piece of meat to him.”

Bellew has of course upset the odds before – most notably against Haye – but him fighting Fury would be something else entirely, as Fury says. Is it worth the risk for the 6’3” Bellew? Far more sensible an option would be to fight Stevenson in a return. Bellew has also expressed serious interest in trying to avenge what he calls his one true defeat (Stevenson stopping Bellew inside six-rounds at 175 pounds back in 2013).

Bellew, though, says the fight would have to take place at cruiserweight, that he cannot get any lower. Stevenson also has to get past a dangerous and determined Badou Jack on Saturday night before he can think about anything else. But Bellew says the stoppage loss he suffered (the only one of his entire career) still hurts and he wants to wipe it away.

“Of course it’s interesting. I’d love to spank him. I look at him as the only man who ever truly defeated me,” Bellew said in speaking with Sky Sports. “It still haunts me to this day but he would never fight me at cruiserweight. I can’t go any lower than cruiserweight, it’s impossible and I am telling you now, if he did come to cruiserweight I would put him to sleep.”

Maybe Bellew will not get either fight, but that return with Stevenson certainly looks the most realistic fight of the two. It will likely prove tough for Bellew, a natural fighting man, to walk away without having at least one more big fight – whoever it’s against.