Exclusive: Tarver unsure Bellew can avoid Haye power, questions win deserving a world title shot

Antonio Tarver

American heavyweight Antonio Tarver believes David Haye will have no trouble landing this weekend when the Briton takes on WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew in London.

Tarver, who is a five-time world champion, has been vocal in his own desire to face Haye since his rival launched a comeback and the ‘Magic Man’ would consider a meeting should ‘The Hayemaker’ come out on top at The O2.

Haye is being talked about as a possible challenger to the winner of next month’s massive UK bout between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for three top division belts, although Tarver doubts the validity of pitching the 36 year-old in for a title shot after this weekend.

“Haye v Bellew is a really good regional fight but the winner advancing forward definitely does not do so with championship implications,” Tarver exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I’m sure if David wins they’re gonna promote him as a candidate for a world title shot which would be business as usual, but I’m telling everyone that Tarver vs Haye would be fireworks. But yet again none of these fighters want to dance with the Magic Man.

“The fight’s gonna be interesting early on, but think back to when have you ever seen a fight where Bellew didn’t get hit with hard shots – it never happens and that’s the problem he’ll have in this fight. Haye’s heavyweight power means he’s not going to be able to avoid the shots coming at him.”

On whether Haye’s title aspirations should come true with victory, Tarver stated: “All Haye is going to prove is that he can beat a cruiserweight moving up, so if that’s the criteria, I should’ve had two or three title shots by now.

“For me, he’ll still have work to do – but again we know politics run the sport so more than likely you’ll see him in with one of the champions after this fight,” he added.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay