Promoter Eddie Hearn believes any other fight would have been insufficient for Tony Bellew as the Liverpool man bids to rubber stamp his March triumph over David Haye in London on December 17.
Painstaking negotiations have resulted in a Sunday night clash just before Christmas as two of the most outspoken boxers in the UK duke it out for a second time in front of an expectant capacity crowd.
Bellew stopped an injured Haye late on in the first bout and Hearn believes the unfinished nature of the rivalry meant he gave extra focus to getting the encounter signed.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 4, 2017
“This was an important fight to make for boxing,” said Hearn at the kick-off press conference.
“Tony Bellew had a number of options, but when we went back to the people and the fans, Bellew v Haye II was the one they wanted to see.
“It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a difficult fight to make, but I think the drama and quality of the first fight meant this was one that had to happen.”
On what he expects from the rematch, Bellew’s trainer David Coldwell added: “It won’t be a shock to see a better David Haye. I’m expecting to see a better David Haye on December 17.”
A win for Haye could open the door for a trilogy fight over the summer, whilst Bellew scoring another big victory would be the final nail in the career of the Bermondsey two-weight world title holder.
Tickets went on sale on Wednesday October 4 at midday to O2 Priority members at www.theO2.co.uk.
Tickets go on sale on Thursday October 5 at midday to Matchroom Fight Pass members – an announcement on this will be made soon: and the venue and AXS pre-sale before tickets go on general sale at www.theO2.co.uk.
Tickets go on general sale on Friday October 6 at midday from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202.
Tickets are priced £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £500. Inner Ringside VIP tickets are priced from £1000, £2000 and £3000.