British heavyweights David Haye and Tony Bellew meet for one final showdown at a sold-out O2 in London on Saturday, with no way back for the loser.
Thoughts of retirement have never been far away for both fighters. Previous victor Bellew, 35, found temptation in going out on a high, whilst Haye, 37, sees only a spectacular win by knockout this time round as reason to continue.
But, from the moment Haye’s challenge fell away with an Achilles injury in their first fight back in March 2017, a rematch always promised to be an irresistible proposition for both.
And now, as the moment of reckoning looms, boxing analyst Steve Bunce has come up with a three-point plan he believes will enable Bellew to dash The Hayemaker’s hopes of one final shot at the likes of Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
“He has to enter the ring knowing that he’s fighting a different David Haye.
"This is not an injured, over-confident David Haye, this is a David Haye who’s going to call on every bit of experience throughout his 20 years as an amateur and professional.
"David Haye is going to box, he’s going to be clever, his body’s not going to collapse, and Tony Bellew needs to be very mindful he’s fighting a different man.
"Secondly, Tony Bellew needs to put the pressure on, he needs to be busy, but not go looking for that mad right-hand. He needs to box sensibly and just not imagine that David Haye is going to fold.
"He needs to keep throwing shots, changing angles, and make David Haye work, make David Haye chase him.
"And the third and the most important thing Tony Bellew has to do is not get involved, not get sucked into a slanging match on the night, into any suggestion that they might start fouling each other and lose points.
"He must not lose control of his motions. Tony Bellew is best when he is emotional, when he’s tired up, when he’s angry, when he’s argumentative, but in this fight he needs to be calm.”
Can he do all this and claim a win which will send Haye into oblivion?
Should be fun finding out.
“What an event it will be,” concluded Bunce.News Now - Sport News