Added to that was the fact that WBN learned on good authority that Haye was still feeling the same injury that struck in their first meeting last March, something Team Haye have denied by informing WBN he was fully recovered from a snapped achilles.
As it turned out, Haye says it was bicep accident that ended the December 17 event.
Haye, who recently turned 37, also rejected the notion of any old injury problems during the expected announcement and was apologetic over the pull-out, remaining hopeful he will climb back between the ropes again.
“I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 24 or May 5, subject to scheduling,” said Haye.
“Despite the recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, currently weighing lighter than I have for more than five years, I couldn’t wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye Bellew saga.
“Unfortunately, after a freak accident during a stair conditioning session, which I’ve done with no incident hundreds of times, I lost my footing, slipped, so instinctively grabbed the bannister to stop myself toppling down the stairwell, in doing so I somehow managed to damage my bicep in the process.
“This afternoon I underwent a procedure to repair it, this was pretty straightforward and my doctor and physiotherapist have no doubt that not only will I make a full recovery but will be able to be back in the gym to start my arm rehabilitation in two weeks.
“I would like to apologise to Tony, his family and his training team, as well as all our fans who have been left disappointed. I’ve been solely focussed on this fight and it’s extremely frustrating that I couldn’t finish 2017 with just my ring performance doing the talking. I look forward to getting back to training and into the ring in early 2018 with excitement and determination.”
Bellew is set to move on with his career as Haye readies himself for a difficult decision, which WBN believes will ultimately culminate in the end of his career in 2018.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay