Tony Bellew reveals plans for a brand new division to be created between cruiserweight and heavyweight and the fights that may be made

AT the WBC Annual Conference final month, the sanctioning physique
put ahead plans to create a brand new division that can sit between cruiserweight
and heavyweight in an effort to cease too many bouts occurring within the marquee
division the place there’s a large distinction in weight.

Tony Bellew, a former contender at light-heavy, heavy and WBC
champion at cruiser, was put ahead by the organisation as an envoy for
the plan.

“I’ve spoken to the WBC just a few occasions in regards to the plans, which initially got here from the thoughts of Don Majeski,” Bellew advised Boxing Information on our Opening Bell podcast final week.

“I didn’t agree with the previous cruiserweight division restrict
being raised to 200lbs. I didn’t see the purpose in that. The hole from
light-heavyweight (175lbs) to cruiserweight is way an excessive amount of.

“What we will’t do is begin messing with the previous weight
courses. Don’t ever change the light-heavyweight restrict from 175lbs, for instance.
I’d wish to see the cruiserweight restrict put right down to 190lbs then we introduce
the brand new weight class from 190lbs to 220 or 225lbs. It permits the small
heavyweights and the massive cruiserweights to have a degree taking part in subject.”

Richard Heathcote/Getty Photos

The WBC have been right here earlier than. They launched the
super-middleweight division and the cruiserweight division. Neither weight
class was embraced in the beginning. In time, although, each grew in reputation however
it wasn’t till fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns campaigned at
168lbs and Evander Holyfield cleaned up at cruiserweight that the burden
courses grew to become broadly accepted.

Bellew accepts that the brand new division – which is but to be
named although ‘super-cruiserweight’ has been talked about – will want marquee
fights instantly if it’s to be successful.

“Working with the WBC, I’d wish to suggest some fighters and
fights for the brand new division. Michael Hunter could be an apparent alternative for the
new division, so too Alexnder Povetkin,” Bellew defined.

“However the combat you’d wish to make could be Deontay Wilder
versus Oleksandr Usyk.

“Talking from expertise, Usyk is technically the very best in
the heavyweight division. He’s a genius. However the one factor that can maintain him
again is sheer measurement. He will be unable to beat the actual huge boys for that
cause.

“It’s freaky how Wilder is so gentle. I’ve been up shut with
him and he’s large however the fact is he’s not often above 225lbs.”

Heavyweights have been increasing for a few years and there’s
little cause to assume that can cease. Bellew is fast to emphasize that the
heavyweight division should at all times be the highest division however believes the game
should tackle what comes under.

“In the intervening time, we now have an eight-pound soar from center [160]
to super-middle [168], a seven-pound soar from super-middle to
light-heavyweight [175]. Then we now have a 25-pound soar from light-heavyweight to
cruiserweight – that simply doesn’t make sense.

“At heavyweight, we’re seeing the fighters get larger and
larger. It’s fairly clear that there are heavyweights and super-heavyweights.
You possibly can by no means label a division super-heavyweight in skilled boxing but it surely’s
been clear since Lennox Lewis fought Vitali Klitschko in 2003 that the
heavyweights are rising.

“Have a look at Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. They’re all large. I do know Povetkin has simply overwhelmed Whyte however, for my part, that’s a freak incident: a small heavyweight taking out a giant heavyweight. It doesn’t occur fairly often.

“This new division is inevitable, I consider. The necessity for it is just going to get extra obvious now the heavyweight division is so standard once more. We’ve to get the divisional limits proper and we now have to make the proper fights straightaway: Let’s make Oleksandr Usyk towards Deontay Wilder as the primary combat within the weight division.”

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