Exclusive: Tony Bellew challenges David Haye to catchweight clash
Top cruiserweight Tony Bellew has informed WBN that a fight with David Haye would appeal to him if a deal can be thrashed out with the returning two-weight world champion.
Bellew, 32, is currently in training for a massive 200 pound clash with tough Pole Mateusz Masternak on the Anthony Joshua v Dillian Whyte bill next month and is on the cusp of a first world title shot at the limit.
Upon hearing the news that Haye is back in training with new coach Shane McGuigan this week, ‘Bomber’ says a UK super-fight would be a huge affair, but he would expect the ex-heavyweight champion to make some allowance on weight.
“I would like to fight David Haye, yes,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News on Wednesday.
“He’s the most successful cruiserweight the country has ever produced and the only man since Evander Holyfield to unify the cruiserweight division.
“I was chasing Yoan Hernandez, who I believe is the best cruiserweight in the world right now, but he’s sidelined due to injury.”
The Liverpool fighter has been campaigning at cruiserweight for just under two years, whereas Haye has fought between 190 and 210 pounds his entire career, something that would need addressing in some form, says Bellew.
“I believe if David wants it enough he can come back down to cruiserweight. He’s a good athlete and a top fighter, but he’s shown on various occasions that he’s vulnerable. I’m a different animal at cruiserweight and I believe I can knock him out.
“We could fight at a catchweight, but that all depends on what we can agree as me versus him is a big fight. We’ve sparred together before so he knows what I’m about and how good I can be. But that was ten years ago and I’ve improved massively since then, plus I believe he was in his prime back then.
“I’m after big fights and if it means putting on a few pound to face a great fighter then I’m all for it.
“The thing with Haye is that he’s always talked a good game. That is also his problem though as he needs to remember that he’s a boxer and not just a celebrity. Haye needs to get back to what made him what he is today and that’s fighting.
“My last word on this is; ‘David, I’m ready when you are!”
A contest at 205 pounds doesn’t seem too hard on either boxer, although depends on what kind of shape Haye is in when he finally laces up the gloves again in the coming months.
Three and a half years out – coupled with an aging body, potentially puts Haye in the 215 – 220 pound bracket, which could ultimately prove too big a shift for the Londoner to turn the possibility of a Bellew fight into reality.