Big Fight Preview: David Haye v Tony Bellew1st March 2017
Heavyweight David Haye will be taking on the WBC Cruiserweight Champion Tony Bellew, who has moved up a weight category for the fight.
It's been a war of words so far in the build up with Haye vowing to “end Bellew's career” on Saturday night.
The Back Story:
The pair, who are former sparring partners, explosively clashed post-fight at Tony Bellew's last title defence in October. The Evertonian called out Haye who was sat in the front row and the pair had to be separated by security after a heated exchange.
Haye returned to the ring in January 2016 after a three year absence and beat Mark De Mori with a first round knockout and followed that up in May with a second round win against Arnold Gjergjaj.
Haye is known to be a cocky and arrogant figure, the same of which can be said of Bellew, so the war of words in the build up so far has made for interesting viewing.
“The public demand for me to violently knockout Tony Bellew was simply too strong. Even in his home town of Liverpool, I would be stopped in the street by people begging me to spectacularly send him into retirement”.
Just to make it crystal clear, Haye went on to add: “Bellew is completely delusional if he thinks he can beat me”.
Tony Bellew was equally confident in his assessment of the fight; “I cop him with my best punch, he's going to sleep... He's in for a rude awakening and if this clown expects a walk in the park, he's in for a bad night.”
What to expect:
Trash talk is a big part of boxing, especially with British boxers, but behind the mouth, what can we expect from Saturday's fight?
Tony Bellew is taking a huge risk. He's stepped up a weight divison and is facing a fighter, who although not in his prime, hits harder than his average opponent. Haye on the other hand will be fighting an opponent who is quicker than those he usually faces.
Based on history, evidence would predict that this is David Haye's fight to lose. However, he's only fought twice in 12 months after a three year layoff. During that same period, Bellew's stock has risen, especially since being crowned WBO Cruiserweight Champion.
Haye's two fights didn't tell us much new about him as a fighter. Physically, he looked in great shape and he still hits hard. However, the question is how well his body will hold up against an opponent that is quicker and hungry to win.
The bookies have Haye priced as the favourite, with Bellew being an outsider at 4/1. However there could be some good value on Bellew to win the fight in the later rounds. If Haye doesn't get the early stoppage, Bellew will fancy his chances.
How to watch the fight:
The fight is on Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday 4th March. The main event starts around 10.30pm, however there is a full under-card with coverage starting at 6pm. The under-card:
Craig Glover vs Jake Bonnalie (4 x 3 mins Cruiserweight contest)
Ted Cheeseman vs Jack Sellars (10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest)
Katie Taylor vs Monica Gentili (6 x 2 mins Super-Featherweight contest)
Dave Allen vs TBC (6 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest)
Lee Selby vs Andoni Gago (10 x 3 mins Featherweight contest)
Sam Eggington vs Paulie Malignaggi (12 x 3 mins WBC International Welterweight Championship)
Ohara Davies vs Derry Matthews (12 x 3 mins WBC Silver Super-Lightweight Championship)
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Source: Martial Arts Near You