Anthony Joshua wades into David Haye vs Tony Bellew rivalry by throwing his support behind the 'Bomber'

Joshua is lined up for a future fight with Haye providing he sees off Bellew this Saturday

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The Independent Online

Anthony Joshua has waded into the middle of the David Haye vs Tony Bellew row by declaring his support for the WBC cruiserweight champion and admitting “I would love it if Bellew landed a ‘haymaker’ and put a dock in David Haye’s mouth”.

Former world heavyweight champions Haye faces fierce rival Bellew on Saturday at London’s O2 Arena that will see a culmination to a bitter and ugly build-up that started at the very first press conference back in November, where the two began to push each other before Haye punched Bellew in the head.

With the pair set to be separated not only at Friday’s weigh-in but also in the ring ahead of Saturday’s bout, tensions could not be higher as the two former cruiserweight rivals look to end their feud. But that has not stopped current IBF heavyweight champions Joshua wading into the row and throwing his support behind Bellew in an outburst that will renew his rivalry with Haye.

"It's going to be a tough fight, especially for Bellew, the reason being he's had to move up [a weight],"Joshua said when speaking to Sky Sports.

"I think it would be a different story if Haye had to drop a weight, which I initially thought it was, and it's going to be tough for Bellew.

"But you know what? I would love it if Bellew landed a 'haymaker' and put a sock in David Haye's mouth for a bit. I'm supporting him."

With Joshua taking himself off the fence in favour of Bellew, he has certainly caused a talking point in the lead up to the fight. However, that may also be due to the fact that if Haye meets expectations and beats Bellew, a heavyweight title shot against the winner of Joshua’s bout with Wladimir Klitschko is very much on the cards.

Joshua defends his IBF title against the former unified world champion Klistckho on 29 April, with the vacant WBA ‘super’ title also up for grabs. Haye has already indicated his intention to face Joshua in the past, and fanned the flames between the two domestic heavyweight rivals by claiming he would’ve beaten Joshua in his first fight after returning from retirement.

"If AJ beats Klitschko, which I and the rest of Great Britain are hoping he does, any time he is ready to do it I am ready," Haye said previously.

"I'd have fought him on my first fight back from retirement because I know I can beat him.

"Hopefully, if he wins, his team will have the confidence - David Haye is the biggest fight on the planet, let's make it happen. The ball is in his court."