Haye vs. Bellew Set for Heavyweight Clash
While months of bad blood and harsh words have made this bout a necessity, the matchup is now confirmed: WBC cruiserweight champ Tony Bellew will move up to heavyweight to fight fellow brit David Haye at the O2 Arena in London, England on March 4.
The story was reported by Dan Rafael of ESPN.
Haye (28-2, 26 KOs) and Bellew (28-2-1, 18 KOs) have been engaging in a spirited war of words over the past few months, including an on-air confrontation after Bellew defended his cruiserweight belt last month.
“The public demand for me to violently knockout Tony ‘The Bell-End’ Bellew was simply too strong,” Haye said. “The country is fed up of his constant yapping. Even in his home town of Liverpool, I would be stopped in the street by people begging me to spectacularly send him into retirement.
“Bellew is completely delusional if he thinks he can beat me. He still thinks he’s on the set of Creed and there will be some kind of Rocky style happy ending. But come March 4th at The 02 in London I will bring reality crashing down on him."
Haye had retired in 2012 after beating Derek Chisora, but came back this year to beat the overmatched Mark de Mori by first-round knockout. He won another mismatch against Arnold Gjergjaj im May.
Haye had publicly agreed to fight Shannon Briggs but ended up backtracking on that promise. Instead he will face Bellew, who enters the grudge match with a profound confidence.
“I’ve backed him into a corner, left him nowhere to go, and now I have what I want,” said Bellew. “I’m not under any illusions, I know exactly what I am going up against, it’s big risk, big reward.”