Fight fans are expecting fireworks in the ring at the 02 Arena in London, England on May 5th as two bitter rivals square off in a personal and heated domestic encounter. It’s the ‘Hayemaker’ versus the ‘Bomber’. Will it be repeat for the determined scouser Tony Bellew or revenge for the favoured veteran David Haye?
The fight is shrouded in doubts and uncertainty from every perspective. Due to the impact that Haye’s freak injury had on the first fight nobody really knows what would have happened. Many people favoured Haye to win the fight and understandably so, but Haye’s team really took Bellew for a fool and got burnt very badly.
The Londoner showed the heart of a lion fighting on when injured but it was a very arrogant attitude displayed from his corner to allow him to fight on for so much time when he was so physically incapacitated.
He got caught in his own hype that he was too big and strong for Bellew and was emphatically proved wrong. He looked crude and sluggish against a very sound boxer in Tony Bellew was made to look clumsy at times, even before the torn achilles tendon that he unfortunately suffered in the fifth round.
One thing is for sure this time round. Haye will come in far leaner, lighter and fitter which will enable him to be far more mobile. His focus has shifted from trying to be the hard man to the technicalities of the sport and I think this is exactly the correct approach to take going into this fight.
There is no doubt Haye has the potential power and skill to knock Bellew out. But he really must be firing on all cylinders and performing to his maximum or he won’t be able to engineer himself into range effectively. There is no getting around it, he and his camp underestimated Bellew last time, which is a rookie mistake for such an experienced man with the backing of some very experienced and knowledgeable men. I don’t believe they will make that mistake again. If he does believe it was purely down to the injury, he will almost certainly have an extremely tough fight on his hands.
Coming in lighter isn’t without some risk. It may mean that Tony’s power will have a greater effect on Haye should he land clean, making the fight every bit more compelling. It certainly raises the chance of Bellew scoring a stoppage. However, I think the benefits of coming in lighter, sharper and faster from an offensive point of view outweigh the risks for Haye because he is already very adept with his reflexes and slipping punches.
One thing is for certain when both men commit to throwing in an exchange the first one to land has the potential to seriously rock the other. Haye is a clinical finisher and if he gets to Bellew first it is hard to see him coming back even if he can lift himself off the canvas. However, if Bellew gets to Haye first then I would also fancy him to finish the job. Tony will be looking to counter with his left hook – the same shot that stunned his rival last time – should Haye be over eager. I don’t see Bellew over committing or trying to press the action too soon in the fight.
All things considered you would have to sway slightly towards the ‘Hayemaker’ but having seen what we have seen and knowing the fact that no fighter can turn back the sands of time then a Bellew win would be no surprise. I don’t see Haye winning in such a style that he can be talked about as a genuine heavyweight contender anymore even if he gets a KO.