Tony Bellew has spoken out regarding injury reports involving forthcoming opponent David Haye and says he’ll turn his attention to Joseph Parker should the fight collapse.
Haye is said to be struggling with his troublesome achilles in training for the December 17 bout, although like promoter Eddie Hearn, Bellew is putting the talk down to mind games.
“Let me start off this column by saying, I don’t believe the David Haye injury rumours for one second,” said Bellew in his column for Metro.co.uk.
“He did a whole session on Monday working out with Sky Sports, so I think those ‘rumours’ are nonsense. It’s just a way of trying to get a response out of me. Trying to get me to say something stupid, that’s Haye’s game.
“I can’t see why Haye would be lining up his excuses early, because he knows he is going to retire after this fight. He’s just playing some mind games, but he’s failed.
“I’ve got nothing to say on the matter – if he wants to pull out, then pull out. I’ve got a lot of options on the table, so if he wants to pull out of the fight, I’ll face Joseph Parker, no problem,” added Bellew.
Bellew was lined up to face Parker anyway once he came through Haye for a second time next month but would simply cut out the middle man if the Londoner decides to step away for good.
Parker is the subject of an offer to unify against Anthony Joshua and would be tied up in the spring when Bellew was due to get his chance.
The WBC also want Joshua to face Deontay Wilder, rather than Parker next, meaning Bellew has the option of chasing whoever is left over once 2017 comes to a close.