Heavyweight contender Tony ‘The Bomber’ Bellew has spoken about the prospect of reuniting with bitter foe David Haye when the two team up as part of the Sky Sports Box Office punditry line up for tonight’s showdown between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker.
Bellew rocked the world of boxing when he defeated Haye in their first bout back in March 2017, the latter having been a firm favourite with the bookies, thanks to his vast experience in the blue-riband division.
On the contrary, Bellew was perceived to have been taking an enormous risk in challenging former WBA heavyweight champion Haye in his inaugural fight at the weight.
He eventually won via TKO, thanks, in part, to an Achilles injury suffered by Haye in the sixth round, gaining a multitude of plaudits in the process.
The two met again at the O2 arena in March of this year, Bellew again filling the shoes of the underdog despite his previous victory.
But the Bomber confounded his doubters once more, sending Haye into retirement with a dominant performance in which he knocked the Bermondsey fighter down three times en-route to a fifth round TKO.
The war of words between the two men in the lead up to their bouts was ferocious and each appeared to harbour genuine dislike towards the other.
Bellew famously referred to Haye as 'Sideshow Bob', and the two were involved in a physical confrontation in the promotion before their first fight.
But according to Bellew, all of the needle is now considered water under the bridge as far as he is concerned.
On reuniting with Haye, Bellew told Sky Sports:
“I am looking forward to it.”
"He knows the amount of respect I have for him as a fighter and as an athlete. He has been the best in the game, he's fantastic at what he does and to be honest, he is very knowledgeable on boxing.
"He can break down fights stylistically. He knows styles, what works, what doesn't work”.
On whether Bellew expects Haye to respond in kind, he said: "I'd like to think David will be as magnanimous as I am going to be, but we'll see. It's buried now, it's done, but you never know...
"We've played the game with each other over the last two years and as I say, I have always respected him and admired him as a fighter and someone who I looked up to.”
"I always wanted to get to the level of David Haye, and eventually got there - and beat him twice.”
Now enjoying retirement from the sport, Haye nevertheless has his hands full with his Hayemaker Productions promotional company as well as an increasing reputation as an expert pundit.
Fingers crossed the only blows landed tonight are in the ring and not in the commentary box.News Now - Sport News