It’s less than two months now until David Haye and Tony Bellew meet again at the O2 Arena in London.
The pair met at the same venue in March, with Bellew emerging victorious in fortunate circumstances.
Haye was on top when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the sixth round of the original bout. From there, he was unable to avoid Bellew’s shots and went down via TKO in the penultimate round.
So it was hardly surprising that Haye was so eager for a rematch.
The 37-year-old spoke of his desire to take over the heavyweight division prior to his defeat to Bellew, who put those plans on hold in March.
Yet that hasn’t stopped Haye dreaming about a fight against IBF, WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua is preparing for his own fight, with Carlos Takam his next opponent, and the long line of boxers wanting to snap his unbeaten run is Haye.
"That would be the ultimate perfect scenario," Haye told talkSPORT this week.
"I have a couple of fights, he has a couple of fights. If we both keep winning then a big stadium, me v Anthony Joshua, it doesn't get any bigger than that.”
Haye: It's over if I lose to Bellew
Yet Haye is fully aware that another defeat to Bellew would rule out any chance of a future bout against the 2012 Olympic champion.
He added: “However, I can't even remotely even start thinking about that if I can't perform against Tony Bellew.
"If I can't beat Tony Bellew, my competitive boxing career is effectively over.
“There is no need me even mentioning any other names in the heavyweight division, about wanting to fight for titles, fight this guy, that guy.
"If I can't beat Tony Bellew, then it's over."
Bellew responds to Haye
There’s no reason for Bellew not to be confident heading into the fight given what happened seven months ago.
The trash-talking will ramp up in the coming weeks but the Evertonian has kicked things off with his response to Haye’s quotes on Twitter.
He simply wrote: “Well it’s over then isn’t it! 👍”.
It surely won’t be long before Haye issues a response.
Haye knows he has to shine against Bellew
While an all-British affair between Haye and Joshua would set hugely impressive numbers, Haye is wise enough to realise that there’s no way he gets his dream fight if he fails to impress against Bellew.
"Even if I beat Tony Bellew, but I scrape through, I get knocked down, I'm struggling, whatever issue I have, I can't then realistically say I want to fight this big guy who is three inches taller, three stone bigger, 10 years younger, undefeated and with a 100 per cent knock-out record,” he added.
Yet one imagines Haye would have a hard time saying no if the offer was there.
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