Tony Bellew does not believe Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury feel they can beat Anthony Joshua as he labelled the heavyweight division a ‘political mess’.
The former WBC cruiserweight champion retired from the sport in November after losing to Oleksandr Usyk in a battle for all the major belts.
Although he was unsuccessful on the night, Bellew was content to walk away from the sport with his health, his family’s future secured and with no regrets.
However, the three best heavyweights in the world do not appear even remotely close to fighting one another to determine who the No.1 is.
With Fury on ESPN, Joshua on DAZN and Wilder attached to Showtime, the chances of seeing rival broadcasters colluding to make fights happen is rare to say the least.
And the ‘Bomber’, who briefly flirted with the idea of challenging for a world title at heavyweight, believes former Matchroom stablemate Joshua is the man to beat.
He wrote in his BBC column: “I briefly entered the heavyweight fray with two wins over David Haye, but now the division is in a bit of a political mess.
“Tyson Fury’s new deal with ESPN is a problem as television networks do not typically work too well with one another, and given both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are with other broadcasters, it’s a bit ugly.
“One thing we need, ultimately, is to know who the number one heavyweight is in the world.
“There has never been a fighter in any weight division in the history of boxing who has held three of the four belts – as Joshua does – and not been considered number one.
“So that makes that clear – Joshua is the main man, despite what some may say. And being number one, that gives you the financial lead when entering into any negotiations.
“If Fury or Wilder held three belts in the division, do you really think they would give an opponent 50-50?
“Joshua is offering some of these guys more in one night than they have earned in their whole career and yet they still want to complain. He’s also saying if they win and they rematch, he’d flip the terms.
“We know who the number one is. If you believe you can beat him take the pay-day and you’ll make even more in the rematch.
“Do they really believe they can beat him though?
“I’m not so sure.”