David Haye vs Tony Bellew in March was one of the most highly anticipated fights in boxing history and rightly delivered a spectacle on the night.
Few had any hope for underdog Bellew, but despite breaking his hand in round 2, he put up a dogged fight to push the much bigger Haye into the latter rounds.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Haye rolled his ankle as the fight wore on, snapping his Achilles tendon, but refused to be defeated and carried on until his corner threw in the towel in the eleventh round.
The build-up saw a bitter feud develop between the pair, with both sides making threats, and Haye even throwing a bare-knuckle punch at his rival.
A second fight is on the way, something both boxers have been keen on since the end of that first bout, but a recent press conference to promote the sequel had a more subdued feel to it.
The main talking point was the question of whether Haye’s ankle would hold up this time, rather than how the fight might actually go.
“Yes, I’ve had stuff specially made,” Haye said, as per The Metro. “I tape my ankles now.
“I put this lace-up thing on it, then I put on my boxing boots, which have reconstructive support, my legs will be fine.
“There’s nothing to snap, everything is locked in.”
Haye hinted after his loss in that fight that the boots he wore could have been to blame.
Made by Vivobearfoot, they certainly looked as though they offered less support than standard boxing boots – not ideal for someone who has had Achilles problems in the past.
When asked recently if the boots could have been to blame, Haye responded:
“It could have been, it could have been what I ate that day.
“I’ve done everything I can to minimise that.”
The main focus will be on Haye when the pair step back into the ring, just eight months after the former two-weight world champion sustained an injury that has ended the careers of others, but he says a fight in December had always been part of his plans.
“It [the injury] hasn’t affected my boxing schedule. I was always going to fight in December,” he continued.
“Looking back at my career, I’d fight only once a year in some incidents.
“From March to December, it’s no different to what it would have been anyway.
“That was something I was really adamant about, I’ve had injuries before but I understand how to get to the ring."
“Even before I got into the operating theatre I knew my date was December.
“No guarantees I would be able to walk again, but I knew in my heart I am going to fix this.
“Athletes in the past had similar injuries, some taken two years out, some of them less than that, but I thought no matter what I will be back [in December].”
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