David Haye has completely changed his mindset since recovering from a bicep injury suffered in the run-up to a previously scheduled December 17 rematch with Tony Bellew.
The pair renewed their rivalry late last year in a bid to trade blows once again just before Christmas until a freak accident struck and forced Haye to wait six months until May 5th for a redemption attempt.
Bellew stopped Haye in eleven rounds back in March 2017 on the back of a fiery build-up which had seriously threatened to boil over many times.
Similar looked on the cards for the return, although a more relaxed Haye turned up at the press conference in London on Wednesday and had an alter-ego to the surprise of the Liverpool man.
“I’m not taking the bait this time. I can’t be bothered. I’m just going to train. I won’t allow you get into my psyche. I won’t allow it,” Haye told the press.
“I love you Tony Bellew, I’ve got a crush on you. I love you I really do. You’ve got a great haircut, a great beard. My opinion of you has changed because you beat me.
“All that anger didn’t work for me last time. In any other sport, whether you hate someone or love someone, you want to win,” he added.
‘The Bomber’ was clearly sceptical of the new-found chilled out nature of the ex-world heavyweight champion and questioned whether Haye was turning to religion or simply playing mind-games.
“I just hope you don’t become a Buddhist before the fight. I’m waiting for you to crack open some holy prayers. It’s just a fight,” said the former WBC cruiserweight ruler.
Haye remains the favorite to win, like in the initial contest almost a year ago – whilst Bellew is fully confident he can repeat the feat and secure another big fight later in 2018.