Exclusive: Bellew says Haye ‘stadium’ fight is a real possibility
As their fiery rivalry continues to escalate, new WBC world champion Tony Bellew is confident that a blockbuster clash with David Haye can happen sooner rather than later.
Liverpool’s Bellew became the WBC cruiserweight champion on Sunday night when he KO’d Ilunga Makabu in the third round of his title fight at Goodison Park – home of his beloved Everton FC.
Immediately after the fight, Bellew (27-2-1, 17KO) called out former cruiserweight champ Haye and the pair have since goaded each other and exchanged video messages.
The Liverpudlian is adamant that he would do to Haye – a two-weight world champion – what he did to Makabu only a few days ago and end the fight with a devastating stoppage.
“The Haye fight is definitely a real possibility and that is the fight I want. I will take his head off like I did to Makabu, I will flatten David Haye,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He is regarded as one of the most dangerous fighters in the world and one of the best cruiserweights that has ever lived so if I beat him I take his mantle. I only want big fights against big reputations and there’s not much bigger out there than this fight – it makes the most sense. This can be a huge domestic and world clash and has the potential to fill most stadiums.
“It is the former champ against the current champion and I’m not afraid to stand up and face people against adversity when the odds are against me. I’m a man and I will fight anyone, I will fight King Kong if it makes sense.”
While vocal about Haye’s current level of opposition, Bellew has also quelled any concerns about the pair currently operating in different weight classes with Haye a heavyweight contender.
He said: “It doesn’t matter that he is a heavyweight, I walk about at around 225lb (Haye’s weight in his last bout), but I wouldn’t get in the ring at that weight. He can do whatever he wants to do with his weight, I just know that if we meet I will replicate what happened in our sparring session over a decade ago.
“Let’s be honest, he is conning the fans and doing a disservice to boxing. David is a brilliant fighter first and foremost but what he is doing right now is wrong and killing the sport. He is fighting people who he wouldn’t even use as sparring partners – it is unfair to ask the paying public to watch and tune in to his last two fights.
“Boxing is about what I done on Sunday, football stadium fights with passion and desire, genuine 50/50 fights with brutal finishes – that’s what I want to give the fans.
“Haye pulled out against Tyson Fury twice and ran all night against Klitschko before climbing out the ring like a little girl and blaming his little toe. I mean who gets out of the ring in a heavyweight championship fight and blames his toe, it is ridiculous.”
Bellew will meet with his promoter Eddie Hearn soon to see where they go next as he lets what was a dream night for him, his city and his football club sink in.
“I just want to add how grateful, humbled and amazed I am at all the support I received on Sunday night, it was one of the best nights of my life and I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible,” he added.
“I will sit down with Eddie and the team this week to devise a plan and see where we go next. I’m in a good place at the minute and it is nice to be coming off such an amazing night. This night was the biggest boxing event in Liverpool’s history so I am just going to enjoy and embrace every second of it.”
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123