Andre Ward V Tony Bellew: Creed II



Andre Ward V Tony Bellew: Creed II

This would be Saturday night at the movies on HBO with a free popcorn ticket. 

Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20KOs) smashed David Haye (28-4, 26KOs) via 5th round mugging in the unnecessary sequel to their B-level saga in London, but it only served as sideshow theater that did nothing to enhance the authenticity of the sweet science, while escalating a cash grab culture.

It's time for PPV to go.

What sold this fight to the public was a rehashing of the unsavory “Pretty Ricky” Conlan character that Bellew played in 2015's “Creed”, while pitting him opposite a Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler type nemesis in the completely washed up Haye. They weren't Mayweather V McGregor crass during the promotion, but things did get ugly.

And for what?

There was no title on the line at all and the two of them were merely popular personalities of non-elite substance. Ward, the real Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler who was punk'd in cinema by Bellew's Conlan, just might want to show Bellew a difference between art and real life. We're told things were really competitive on the set.

If it did happen, it's a good fight them and the sport of boxing should Ward decide to come out of retirement (as is widely rumored he will). While neither man is what we'd call a household name, Eddie Hearn could probably compensate and work out a deal with HBO for a some sort of double-header extravaganza in London. 

An unbeaten, all-time great of Ward's calibre would almost certainly have great title aspirations to launch a comeback, which means the cruiserweight division and it's new cadre of World Boxing Super Series stars makes the most sense in a joint promotion. Since Bellew has been very vocal about challenging the likes of Murat Gassiev, Oleksandr Usyk and Yunier Dorticos (where I think he'd get his ass kicked), the litmus test for him could be Ward. But what would happen if it could happen? 

Ward has too much dimension.

After soundly defeating a squeezed sponge in Sergey Kovalev last June, there was nothing else for Ward to do except face WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (Up Next on May 19 against Badou Jack in Toronto, Canada), something Ward never really wanted to do. 

But Bellew did, and was mauled by the rampaging southpaw menace in November 2013, something Andre would not forget and rehash in his own way. The two were compelling enough in natural on screen chemistry to make this a good scrap on free HBO. Plus it'd be a fun call for Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman, Roy Jones and viewers at home. But all this Ward would do is examine the trouble Bellew has with footwork beyond orthodox, the crowding of infighting, and spacing to pick him apart on the way to a comfortable UD. 


Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.