So here we have it! The first big domestic dust-up of the year! It’s the battle of the motormouths! Two men who certainly know how to market themselves. David Haye vs Tony Bellew.
It was obvious this fight would happen once Bellew called out Haye after he won the world cruiser weight title at his beloved Goodison Park in May of last year. In a post-fight interview, Bellew made reference to Haye as ‘that bitch from Bermondsey’. Then after winning the first defence of his title against B.J. Flores in October, Bellew tore into Haye who was watching at ringside calling him a ‘fraud’ amongst other things. Haye fired back at Bellew through social media and on TV.
Once the fight date was confirmed we saw the war of words intensify between the two which culminated in punches being thrown at their first official press conference. They really don’t like each other. These are two characters of which the public perception has no middle ground. You either love them or you hate them.
Remember Haye took 3 years out of the game and basically has fought two nobodies since his return. We know what he is capable of. Good mover, big puncher and got all of the shots. The big question with Haye is does he have the heart for a real fight.
No matter what he does with the rest of his career, he will always be remembered for his no-show against Vladimir Klitschko in 2011. A total disgrace of a performance that he has never recovered from. This is a guy that beat the 7ft giant, Nikolai Valuev a couple of years earlier and then downs tools against Klitschko and blamed it on a broken toe. Please!
Then, of course, Haye was due to fight Tyson Fury in 2013 and mysteriously pulled out due to an alleged shoulder injury. Soon after he announced his retirement from the sport. There’s just so many doubts around him. Is he back purely for the money? Is there a true desire there to beat the likes of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder? Does he have the ‘minerals’ to overcome the guys at the top? Does he have it in him to beat Bellew if the fight goes long?
Such questions about desire and willingness to fight are things that could never be thrown at Tony Bellew. Yes he’s done some acting and yes he does TV work but boy does he love a scrap. This guy was born to fight. A Scouser dyed in Everton blue. He fights from the heart.
He’s putting aside his cruiserweight world title to move up to heavyweight for this fight. Of course Haye is a blown up cruiserweight so in terms of size there’s not much difference between the two. Still a brave move by Bellew but this fight is way bigger than any he could get at cruiserweight. It certainly makes financial sense for him.
It is an intriguing fight. This is one that is likely to end early. Emotion is going to play a big part. There is genuine ill-feeling between them and I see prospective game plans going out of the window once the first punch connects. The respective corners will have big parts to play to calm their man down.
They are both big punchers. We know Haye’s power carries over to the heavyweight level. Will Bellew’s? I think it will because I think he can hurt Haye. The thing for me is will Bellew get to the punch first? Haye is fast. He has very good handspeed. I see Haye getting to Bellew first. Will Bellew be able to take Haye’s power? I think not.
Haye also has a very good jab. I see him working the jab early to get to Bellew and then bring over the big right hand. It’s a murderous punch and that will be the finisher for me. Haye says he’s worked hard for the fight. There is an air of contempt coming out of the Haye camp. There have been the pictures of him relaxing on a boat in the US while allegedly training which have riled up the Bellew camp.
If he is taking this fight lightly, he will be in for a rude awakening. Bellew, as always, will be 100% focused. If Haye is focused and really wants it, I do see him winning early. The longer the fight goes then the advantage starts to go to Bellew.
I must admit I am not a fan of Haye and would love to see Bellew beat him but I see Haye by KO or stoppage in round 3.
The week of the fight should be a cracker. Cannot wait for the weigh-in. Will they have to be separated like Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora? Nothing would surprise me with these two.
Anyway enough talk. Fight night is almost here! I’m definitely going to have a flutter on this one. Will be a cracker. Enjoy folks!