Tony Bellew’s ringside lunge on David Haye continues to fill column inches days on from the WBC cruiserweight champion’s first successful defence against BJ Flores in Liverpool.
‘The Bomber’ took down a bemused Flores in three painful rounds at the Echo Arena as Bellew bludgeoned his way to victory, becoming the first fighter in 36 bouts to halt the veteran American.
In the seconds following the one-sided contest being halted by referee Ian John Lewis, Bellew launched for UK rival Haye, who was working close to the ring apron in his capacity as an analyst for Sky Sports.
Harsh words were said by an adrenaline-fuelled Bellew, who on reflection stated he wasn’t proud of his actions, but at the same time pointed out they were a necessary evil to make Haye understand the situation.
“Although I don’t agree with what I did on Saturday and I don’t think I should have jumped out of the ring, but it was done purely because I needed to get close to him to show him I’m not pissing about,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I just wanted Haye to know I’m deadly serious and you can only get that across by standing in somebody’s face. I really didn’t want to incite any nonsense or violence outside of the ring.
“I get paid to fight and I’ll only fight when I’m getting paid. I just wanted to let him know, up close and personal, that I’m not in any kind of fear or awe of him and I’ll punch his face in any time, any place.”
In the aftermath of the evening’s events, Haye, 35, seemed happy to praise Bellew for his performance to Sky, although was quoted the next day stating he could probably knock the 33 year-old out with his jab.
Bellew gave his view on the comments: “He’s talking absolute nonsense. Haye’s saying anything he needs to in order to bring me down to size. But he says one thing and means another.
“One minute he’s saying how impressive I was beating BJ Flores, and on the other hand, he’s saying he’ll absolutely defeat me and play with me with one hand. It makes no sense and he’s just contradicting himself, to be honest.
“But if BJ Flores has been giving him a hard time in sparring, and I’ve just bounced BJ Flores off the floor four times in nine minutes, then it doesn’t bode too well for David Haye.
“A lot of things will be said from until then, though, so we’ll just see where it goes,” he added.