Bellew and Haye fight looks likely after war of words

Tony Bellew and David Haye appear to be on a collision course following a war of words between the two boxers. 

Bellew secured the biggest win of his career by knocking out Ilunga Makabu in three rounds to clinch the WBC cruiserweight title last month at Everton’s Goodison Park Football ground in Liverpool.

The 33-year-old used the spotlight to call out Haye, urging the Londoner to meet him in a showdown, which sparked a war of words between the pair. 

Haye is scheduled to meet American Shannon Briggs in their bout later this year, but has insisted that he would have no qualms over facing off against the Liverpudlian. The former WBA heavyweight champion is backed at 1/20 by 32Red UK as of 24th June to defeat Briggs in their clash at the 02 Arena and continue his resurgence since his return to the ring. 

Haye has been dominant since he returned to action, although Bellew has accused him of taking advantage of poor opponents to bolster his record. 

The 35-year-old knocked out Mark de Mori in the first round of their fight in his return, as the Australian failed to compete against the Londoner’s overwhelming power. 

Arnold Gjergjaj’s resistance was equally as weak as Haye defeated him with a string of powerful strikes, securing his victory in the second round. 

Briggs is not expected to inflict the third defeat of the Briton’s career in their bout, given his age of 44, while he has also not face an opponent of Haye’s calibre in several years. 

The Londoner has the quality to brush him aside, and then focus on his challenge of taking on Bellew, but may be forced to drop down to cruiserweight to do so. 

Haye’s last fight in the class was his convincing win over Enzo Maccarinelli in 2008, which could provide problems for him adjusting to the speed of Bellew in the ring. However, Bellew has also revealed that he would be comfortable moving to heavyweight due to 35-year-old’s lengthy absence from the field. 

The Liverpudlian is in the form of his career after putting in an excellent display against Makabu, overcoming a knockdown in the first round. 

He clinched the victory in the third round with a left hook and firm right uppercut before finishing the Congolese with a series of blows, leaving his opponent unconscious in the ring. 

The defeat was only the second of Makabu’s career, and his first since the opening out of his career eight years ago, highlighting the quality of Bellew’s performance. 

A potential battle between Haye and the 33-year-old could be intensified by suggestions from Bellew that he was one of the reasons that the Londoner pulled out of a fight against Mark Hobson in 2005 following a sparring session between them. 

If the war of words is anything to go by then the fight itself could be an extremely entertaining spectacle not seen from Haye since his impressive victory over Dereck Chisora in 2012. 

It has the possibility of putting both men in the focal point of British boxing again, making it an enticing prospect for each man to triumph.

By Mac Morrison