Tony Bellew has responded to long-term rival David Haye’s claims that he tried to sell the fight to the Pay-Per-View audience by ‘sexing up’ the fight.
The pair have shared one of the sport’s most intense rivalries over the last decade.
Ahead of their first fight in 2017 a fight between the pair broke out at a pre-fight press conference with Haye appearing to land a left hook on Bellew.
Bellew went on to knock Haye down in round eleven of that fight at the O2 Arena after the Hayemaker sustained an ankle injury in round six.
In the rematch in May 2018, Bellew stopped Haye in round five in an even more dominant display, with Haye again immediately congratulating his opponent after the fight.
Haye has now admitted he never really had a serious grudge against the Liverpool man despite the considerable conflict the pair appeared to have.
‘The Bomber’ though, claims he has “never faked anything” and that the rivalry was real from his side.
“I heard about it, I haven’t really been on social media lately but from me mate it was never hyped from my point of view,” Bellew told World Boxing News.
“I was always very professional when I spoke to David. It only got unprofessional when he brought up my family.
“For me, it was only when he was saying he was going to leave me in a hospital bed. And that I was going to be comatose and my family was going to visit me in hospital.
“You could see on fight night, when I got in the ring that it was real. We got the job done, I’m very happy.
“I’m 2-0 up over one of the greatest cruiserweights this country has ever produced. And one of the best heavyweights this country has ever produced so I’m very happy with where it lies.
“I’ve never faked anything (with Haye or Cleverly) … do I have any long-term nasty feelings towards David? Absolutely not, no. It was an absolute honour to share the ring with David Haye.”
Coincidentally, Haye and Bellew found themselves in the same corner last weekend as they both supported Dereck Chisora for his fight with Dillian Whyte.
Bellew retired from boxing himself in November after losing to Oleksandr Usyk at the O2 Arena.