Ahead of their massive UK heavyweight clash on March 4 in London, David Haye and Tony Bellew went face-to-face at a press conference in the capital on Wednesday.
The domestic rivals, who have already been embroiled in a slanging match, picked up where they left off at the Echo Arena in Liverpool last month when Bellew knocked out BJ Flores and launched at a ringside Haye.
As the gathered media watched on, fireworks didn’t take long to arrive and in the end a punch was thrown.
‘Have you sold out The O2 Arena on your last two fights?’ – asked Bellew, to which Haye replied, ‘yes’ – before ‘The Bomber’ accused the Londoner of being a liar and stating tickets were being given away by the promoters.
The pair then continued to bait each other with Haye in no doubt about the result when the fight goes down next spring.
“There were a lot of options open to me, but this is a fight the fans want to see,” said Haye.
“I chose this fight to shut you (Bellew), Eddie (Hearn) and Dave (Coldwell, trainer). Kill a load of birds with one stone. It’s an easy nights work.”
As Bellew continued to cut in, Haye continued: “The same way I said before the Audley Harrison fight and the Dereck Chisora fight, I’ll end the fight when I want.
“If I want to punish you for three of four rounds I will do. If I want to end the fight in 30 seconds, I’ll do that. It’s completely and utterly up to me. You’ve got no say. You’re just a chump in ring. A little, fat, podgy, skinny, pumped-up light-heavyweight.”
Bellew ended the initial argument with: “You are an absolute joke. The guys you pick to fight are jokes. I’m now being looked upon as a joke because I’m a cruiserweight.”
At the usual head-to-head, Bellew decided to get in Haye’s face and gave his nemesis a shove but took a short left hand in return for his trouble.