Former and current WBC cruiserweight champions, David Haye and Tony Bellew went at it tooth and nail as the pair went through formalities for the kick-off press conference in London this week.
The UK rivals collide at heavyweight in a much-anticipated pay-per-view bout at The O2 Arena on March 4 and have already begun their tit-for-tat arguments in a bid to gain a mental advantage.
Speaking about their respective World Boxing Council title wins, a first championship for both at the time, Haye and Bellew preferred to disagree on how each of them claimed their coveted green and gold belts.
Haye stopped Jean Marc Mormeck in France back in 2007, whilst Bellew blasted out Junior Makabu at Goodison Park last May to the delight of the Merseyside fans.
“You won the vacant world title in your hometown. When I won my world title it was on foreign territory and I got paid peanuts,” Haye stated.
“It was against a guy who had never lost in ten years. That’s how you win a world title, not by being handed it on your home turf.”
Bellew butted in: ‘Are you saying Jean Marc Mormeck was unbeaten in ten years?’
Haye retorted: ‘He’d beaten every guy he’d faced in ten years. He lost to O’Neil Bell and won the rematch,’ – which prompted another reply from Bellew, ‘He still lost, so he’s not unbeaten in ten years – I’m just pointing out the facts.
In a fearsome ending to the argument, Haye said: ‘The fact is you’re getting KO’d. That’s a fact you really need to get your head around.
“I’m going to stand in front of you with my hands down and nothing is going to happen. You’ve got nothing.”
In a bid to remind Haye of his previous chin frailties, Bellew pointed out: ‘Lolenga Mock made you dance like you were on Strictly Come Dancing! – Has your chin got better?
Haye claimed it had, but his rival reminded him that no chin ever improves with age.
It’s certainly heating up already and there are still three months of build-up left in this one.