Bellew: Hearn close to naming next opponent

Tony Bellew has revealed that promoter Eddie Hearn is “closing in” on his next opponent after switching attention away from the Andre Ward fight.

The Merseysider expects to return to the ring before the end of the year and Hearn held talks about a fight with pound-for-pound king Ward on a trip to Las Vegas last month.

But Bellew has suggested the American is no longer his No 1 target and could now focus on a rematch with David Haye after talks resumed over a second fight following a stunning stoppage win for the 'Bomber' in March.

"Eddie Hearn is closing in on it now," Bellew told Sky Sports News. "We got a fair bit closer with Andre Ward and I thought that was going to get announced imminently, to be honest.

"Eddie came back to me with something else, and said 'this is what's going on and this is what's happening.' I trust Eddie and I believe in what he does by me. He has led me this far.

"I came to Eddie Hearn with a British title. I'm a British, Commonwealth, European champion, world champion. I've beaten an elite-level fighter and I've done it against all the odds on a number of occasions on his watch, so I will leave it to him.

"I trust him and he'll make the right decision for me."

Bellew has also expressed interest in challenging WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker if he comes through a mandatory title defence against Hughie Fury in September.

"If I fight Joseph Parker, he's lost his heavyweight championship of the world. He isn't big and I fancy it, without a doubt," Bellew said earlier this month.