Haye v Bellew - The story so far.
Rivals David Haye and Tony Bellew face-off this weekend in what’s set to be one of the most heated heavyweight exchanges in years. The two have been verbally sparring for months via social media and tense promotional meetings. But where did it all start? Let’s rewind back to October where this all started…
Tony Bellew v BJ Flores – 15th October 2016
Liverpudlian Bellew went up against American BJ Flores, a friend and sparring partner of Haye, in a one-sided affair at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Bellew knocked Flores out in the third round to make the first defence of his WBC Cruiserweight title. Immediately after the fight had finished Bellew started verbally assaulting Haye, who was ringside, claiming he has been ‘conning the British public’ since he announced his comeback in November 2015.
The fight is announced – 25th November 2016
On Friday 25th November promoter Eddie Hearn announced via Twitter that the fight will happen on 4th March at the O2 Arena. Bellew would make the step up to heavyweight but would not put his WBC Cruiserweight title on the line.
The first press conference – 30th November 2016
The first press conference for the fight ended in carnage. Haye got the verbal battle started again, claiming he’d render his opponent unconscious, stating: “You’re not going to be able to chew your food” before Bellew hit back believing he’d win if the fight came down to ‘courage and heart’. It was then time for the stare down. The two came together before heads were pushed against each other’s and Haye swung a left hook to the face of Bellew – something you rarely see in press conferences.
Bellew questions Haye’s training methods.
Whilst Bellew has been grinding it out in cold, rainy Liverpool, Haye has been living it up on a yacht in Miami. His Instagram account shows him playing basketball, having a dip in the sea and getting pedicures, whilst the one-off post shows him actually ‘training’ with coach Shane McGuigan. Bellew claims “Haye is a pretender. He keeps trying to portray this fake celebrity lifestyle on social media to keep his name out there”.
The news conference – 27th February 2017
After their incident back in November, the two had to be separated for their latest news conference in Liverpool – that didn’t stop the verbal attacks, though. Haye was the more aggravated of the two fighters, taking a lot of taunts from the Liverpool crowd before letting them know, “deep in your minds you know he’s getting drilled to the canvas pretty fast”. Bellew responded, doubting Haye’s ability to take it into the latter rounds – “when the gas tank runs out this big, fat Scouser is going to run through him like a steam train. I’m not going to stop.”
What a fight this is going to be. Who will back up their words with victory come Saturday? Join Walkabout to find out. Book your tickets at walkaboutbars.co.uk/sports/boxing