David Haye will fight Tony Bellew at heavyweight on 4 March at London’s O2 Arena, it has been announced.
Former heavyweight world champion Haye has been locked in a war of words with current WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew, with Haye the former undisputed world champion across the 200lbs division.
"The country is fed up of his constant yapping," said Haye. "Even in his home town of Liverpool, I would be stopped in the street by people begging me to spectacularly send him into retirement.
"Bellew is completely delusional if he thinks he can beat me. He still thinks he's on the set of Creed and there will be some kind of Rocky-style happy ending. But come March 4 at The O2 in London I will bring reality crashing down on him.
"I've earned my credentials the hard way inside the ring, not on film sets. There will be no second takes, no stunt men taking the blows and no flashing lights on the red carpet. The only lights Bellew will see are those of the spot lights shining down on him when he wakes up from his nap on the canvas."
Haye was at ringside to see Bellew defend his cruiserweight belt against BJ Flores in October, and Bellew immediately called Haye out after the bout in an effort to trigger a fight. Having claimed he will fight Haye “at any weight” Bellew has lived up to his word and will step up to heavyweight for the first time in his professional career.
"I've backed him into a corner, left him nowhere to go, and now I have what I want," said Bellew. "I'm not under any illusions, I know exactly what I am going up against, it's big risk, big reward.
"I cop him with my best punch, he's going to sleep. He cops me with his best punch, more than likely I am going to sleep too.
"I know what I am up against but the big factor for me is, I'm a very active fighter, I've had no breaks and I've got very little wear and tear on me. If it comes down to a question of heart and determination, I win hands down. If it comes down to one punch, it's a 50-50."Reuse content