Tony Bellew claims he's the 'second most valuable heavyweight in the world' and wants Joseph Parker next

Bellew is now in the process of sounding out his next fight

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The Independent Online

WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew has said he is “the second most valuable heavyweight in the world” and wants to take on Joseph Parker in his next fight.

Bellew stopped fierce rival David Haye in the 11th round in their heavyweight contest last March and is now in the process of sounding out a new opponent.

Parker, who laboured to a points win over Razvan Cojanu in his first WBO title defence on Saturday, has been touted as one potential option with the Kiwi keen to bolster his international profile.

Speaking to Sky, Bellew said that his own stock has risen in recent months and that he has already held talks with Parker’s people following Saturday’s fight.

"I've punched with the right hand since it broke against the 'Haye-faker' so I'm back now, I'm ready to work again and every man and his dog is calling my name," he said.

"I'm a guy in demand at the moment, probably the second most valuable heavyweight in the world at the moment only after AJ.

"I'll sit down with Eddie Hearn this week but new options are coming to us every day. I spoke to people from New Zealand just last night after Joseph Parker had won.


Bellew believes he's now one of the most in-demand boxers (AFP/Getty Images)

"Everyone is saying 'Tony Bellew will you fight Joseph Parker and become heavyweight champion of the world?' The answer to that question is yes I would, but the salt and pepper has to be on my side of the table.

"It has to be on my terms not on his. As important as it is being WBO champion of the world it's not as important as being a box-office draw and that's what I am these days.

"I've got so many options and I just don't know which one I'm going to pick yet."

Bellew’s path to a world title shot against the New Zealander is far from straightforward though.

Joseph Parker beat Razvan Cojanu on points to retain his WBO heavyweight world title (Getty)

Despite the Liverpudlian’s interest, the WBO has indicated that Parker is expected to take on the unbeaten Hughie Fury in his next fight.

Tyson Fury's cousin Hughie was pencilled in to fight Parker in Manukau City at the weekend but was forced to pull out of the contest a fortnight ago due to a back injury.

“Fury is the mandatory," WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo said.

"The injury has been proven by documentation submitted to the WBO. We don't know the severity of it or if it's a hoax. But he does have proof from a doctor that he was injured and that's legitimate for us to declare him as still the mandatory.

"Parker has to defend the title against Fury within 120 days."