Tony Bellew admits there have been talks to come out of retirement for Rozanski

Former world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew admits there have been discussions for him to make a return at bridgerweight.

Bellew has been in talks to return and fight the WBC bridgerweight champion, Poland’s 15-0 (14 KOs), Lukasz Rozanski, who won the vacant belt by blitzing Alen Babic in a round. That was last April, in Poland, and Rozanski has not boxed since.

“I kind of agreed it, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” said Bellew, who was signed to Matchroom for the final stage of his career. “It could have happened, but now I’m not too sure.

“I was toying with the idea of coming back for one night, just for him [Rozanski], but it looks like it’s dead in the water.”

Liverpool star Bellew is 41 and has not boxed since his 2018 loss to Oleksandr Usyk, which is one of the reasons why he has flirted with the idea of a return.

Bellew fulfilled his lifelong ambition of winning a world title, against South African Ilunga Makubu, in front of his hometown fans at Goodison Park – home of his beloved Everton Football Club – in 2016 in a thriller, climbing off the floor to win in the third round.

Bellew defended his WBC cruiserweight belt against BJ Flores before moving up for two lucrative heavyweight fights with David Haye, and then the eighth-round defeat by unified cruiserweight champ Usyk.

The idea was not to make a long ring return, but to get in and create a better ending for the Tony Bellew story in boxing than the ending he had against Usyk.

“It was just one night and maybe going out on my own terms,” said the former champion. “That was all it was about.”

The bridgerweight division is not universally recognized, but the WBC has attempted to create momentum with it since introducing it in 2020.

Bellew’s star outside the ring grew exponentially with his appearance on the reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here last December.

“I can’t believe I actually did it, to be honest,” he said of his two weeks in the Australian jungle, where campmates have to complete trials that involve heights, eating insects and having to complete tasks in enclosed spaces. Bellew made it to the final episode and was a runner-up.

“I was only being myself,” he said. “Everyone says well done, but I was only just being myself for a couple of weeks in a jungle. It is what it is.”