In what will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated fights of the year, David Haye and Tony Bellew will face off again in a rematch of their bout from last year. March 2017 saw the two boxers clash, with the underdog Bellew coming out top, courtesy of a slightly controversial decision from Haye’s camp to chuck the towel in during the 11th round.
Haye claims he was okay to continue and was certainly brave in continuing the scrap despite an obviously injured Achilles heel, but his corner disagreed. Bellew took the win, but it was slightly hollow. Both fighters were keen to get the rematch in the diary and give it another go. And that time has finally come.
Here’s a quick reminder of what went down last round…
That’s what happened back at the O2 Arena back in March 2017. David Haye has since recovered from his dodgy foot and is fighting fit again. The fight was due to have gone down already but another injury from Haye delayed things. He claims to also be over that and the match-up should go ahead as planned.
The tale of the tape
Tony ‘Bomber‘ Bellew
World title contests: 4
Knockdowns suffered in career: 6
KO percentage: 59%
David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye
World title contests: 6
Knockdowns suffered in career: 5
KO percentage: 84%
When’s it on?
Again coming from South East London’s world famous O2 Arena, the Haye Vs. Bellew rematch is set to take place on the evening of Saturday 5th May. The event is due to kick off at around 6pm, with some undercard fights taking us up to the main event, which is scheduled to start at around 10pm.
The fight is being televised by Sky Sports Box Office, so it’s pay per view. You can, of course, buy it in and watch it on via Sky TV or Now TV. Or you can watch it on your phone or tablet via the Sky Sports app. If you fancy a little more atmosphere, though – why not head to your local Rileys and watch it with us? We’ll be showing the whole thing.
What they’re saying
“I wish he had something to say, but he seems to be silent of late. A part of me thinks that his publicist or his team around him have told him to keep shut, because he’s done that much damage to his profile in the past fights.”
“I came to his backyard, his hometown. He called it his lion’s den and I got cheered, and he got booed. That says an awful lot for what he stood for going into that last fight, than what we stood for at the end of it. He was silent with a month to go before the last fight. He’s trying to go on as if he’s this reformed character.”
“It’s just that his publicist team have put a muzzle on him. Don’t worry, when he claps eyes on me that muzzle will come off, because I know he can’t even bear to look at me. We were both at the Okolie-Chamberlain fight and he can’t even bear to look at me. He must have let on to every single person in and around me, and he can’t even bear to look at me, because I know I annoy him that much.”
“At the end of the day, I’m giving him the rematch, because I know I beat him the last time fair and square, and I didn’t beat him because of no injury. I beat him once, and on May 5 I’m going to beat him again, and it’s not going to be a shock in the slightest to me. I’m going into this fight with a game plan to stop him even quicker than the first one.”
“The injury is healing well and the operation was a flying success. I’ve worked every day to make sure I’m not just as good but better than before. I’m punching already, doing pull-ups, press-ups, everything I could do before. What happened last time to postpone the fight was a freak accident, like getting hit by a car, there’s nothing you can do. Unfortunately, it happened and thankfully the rematch got rescheduled.”
“The official scorecards – I lost the first round, I won the second round, third round, fourth round and fifth round, and I lost all the rounds after that. The fact that I lost a round of boxing with Tony Bellew, I’ll give myself a one out of 10. The fact that I lost a round… If I lose a round to Tony Bellew, I’m not the fighter that I believe I am.”
“Sitting here right now, my heart’s not pumping, my senses aren’t heightened. But come fight night when I get through the ring at that stage, I feel like I’m the best version of a human being I can be. My memory is good, my vision sharpens, my hearing. I can hear my coach over all of the screaming. My mind can filter out all of the noise. I feel heightened to be in the ring, and I know I’m alive.”
“Sparring turns on 40, 30 per cent, but come fight night, I genuinely feel like I can’t feel pain. I just keep going through no matter what. I like that feeling.”
“Tony wants this as much as I do, the first fight was an epic battle, edge-of-your-seat stuff, and I think the fans will have another fantastic showdown. I was a huge favourite the first time around, he said my body will break down, he will take over and stop me and that’s exactly what he did. However, I know I still have a lot more to give.”
“When the bell rings, you’ll see the best of me. People are worried about my body falling apart but hopefully that’s a thing of the past and you’ll see a very healthy athlete on May 5.”
What the experts are saying
Joseph Parker: “I think Haye will win, but again, Bellew knows his style and can work on a few things. Of course, I would love to fight Bellew down the line… or there’s Tyson Fury, he’s obviously training to come back.”
Johnny Nelson: “Haye knows in that first fight between him and Bellew, he took it to heart and all he wanted to do was knock him out. Well, he now knows what a mistake he made and says he couldn’t even recognise himself when he looked back on that – the build-up and the fight.So if David Haye has, as he said, learnt from the last fight and will stay humble, will Bellew might actually become a victim of his own success.”
Carl Froch: “Tony Bellew will be quietly confident but dismissive of David Haye. He won’t listen to, or take anything he says seriously. Maybe the tables have turned. ‘Bomber’ might well be thinking there is no chance of Haye getting into the ring 100 per cent fit after the Achilles injury. I hope he doesn’t think that and I get the feeling, he won’t. He can’t. I spoke to David yesterday and he sounds to me like he is really enjoying this rematch already. If I am honest, when it was first mentioned, I thought he would be crazy taking this so soon.”
“Whether David Haye is as fast as he was, or strong as he could be at the age of 37, is one thing. But I do know he believes in himself and believes it is all back. He did say all that in the first fight, but he also just dismissed Bellew. He won’t do that this time. He was wound-up but he had no respect for and totally disregarded him. Haye now goes into this rematch knowing that Bellew can punch, can box and can take his shots. He took his punishment. Will anything change? Well we will see…”
Anthony Joshua: “I believed in Bellew from the start, in my opinion, so I wouldn’t call the first fight an upset in that sense. I feel that Bellew will do it again. If he did it once, if he ‘fluked’ it once, caused an upset once, he will definitely believe he can do it again. He has that confidence in himself. He took Haye’s best shots.”
“Remember, Bellew came up from cruiserweight – so did Haye, actually – but they’re both competing at heavyweight and I believe Bellew has the confidence going into this fight. I really want Bellew to win and I believe in him as well.”
As with last time out, The Hayemaker goes into the fight as a heavy odds-on favourite. He’s best priced at 1/2, but most bookies are only offering 2/5 on him to win. You can get 2/1 for Tony Bellew to win the fight and 33/1 on the draw.
How we think it’ll go
Haye spent half the first fight incapacitated, unable to move, barely able to punch. Bellew was fit and healthy and rained down the punches. Yet he still couldn’t put his opponent down. The only thing that hit the canvas was the towel thrown by Haye’s team. If Bellew can’t KO an injured Haye, what chance does he stand putting down a fit and hungry Haye…?
We’re backing the Bermondsey-born boxer to beat Bellew. And not just because we like alliteration so much. He’s the better fighter and he has far more power and skill than his opponent. 1/2 isn’t overly tempting for a bet, though. So we’d look to rounds betting. Haye is focused and isn’t getting distracted by trash talk and press conference antics. And that’s because he’s gearing up for an emphatic win. He’ll want to prove a point and put Bellew on his backside.
It’s 7/1 he manages it in three rounds, which is tempting for a small nibble. A KO of Bellew in rounds 4, 5 or 6 can be found at 5/1. We’d suggest small stakes on both, meaning you’re nicely covered should the KO come in the first half of the fight.
It may not be the fight of the century, but it’s guaranteed entertainment, no matter what happens on the 5th of May. Come down and join us for the fight…
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