David Haye is in a confident mood heading into his rematch with Tony Bellew at the O2 Arena on December 17.
The 37-year-old is spurred on not just by the chance to avenge his defeat against Bellew in March but by the thought of what a win will do for his chances of meeting Anthony Joshua in the ring.
“Pressure has been put on it and it's in perfect health, and I'm in perfect health," Haye told Sky Sports News this week.
"I've been ticking over perfectly. I'm not going to do anything crazy. As long as I get in the ring in optimal condition, I will get a perfect performance."
Haye was stopped by Bellew in the 11th round of their first bout after rupturing his Achilles tendon midway through.
The defeat silenced Haye, who made some distasteful remarks about Bellew in the build-up to the fight.
“He’s risking his life,” Haye said. “This isn’t about his career - his life is on the line.”
The pair came to blows at a press conference in November. They had to be separated after a feisty confrontation.
Haye was fined £25,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for his comments in the build-up, while Bellew was given a four-month suspended sentence last year after he called out Haye in October 2016.
The Evertonian was warned that future misdemeanours could see his boxing licence withdrawn. And promoter Eddie Hearn says the rematch would be in “jeopardy” if the pair were to repeat their aggressive behaviour this time around.
Hearn explains what could put rematch in jeopardy
When asked whether Haye’s dislike of Bellew could spark another ugly build-up, Hearn told iFL TV: “I think it will, I think it really will.
“I think they’ll try not to. Don’t forget that they’re both on suspensions from the board so they’re not really allowed to misbehave and if they do they could lose their licence, which would put the fight in jeopardy.
“But they don’t like each other at all.
“Sorry, Bellew I don’t think is on a suspended, Haye is, I believe. He chinned Bellew at the presser didn’t he, and said a few distasteful things.”
Given how good the first fight was, Haye and Bellew won’t need to be drawn into the sorry levels of trash-talking they reached in order to sell this one.
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