Eddie Hearn explains why he fears that David Haye v Tony Bellew fight could fall through


David Haye and Tony Bellew's big heavyweight showdown at the O2 Arena on March 4 is guaranteed to be a great fight if the build-up to the bout is anything to go by.

The two bitter rivals have been exchanging verbal, and even physical, blows during the build-up to their fight and not for some time has a fight been so real and so hostile.

Bellew called out Haye following his successful WBC world cruiserweight title defence against BJ Flores back in October as the 36-year-old watched on from ringside while working for Sky Sports.

And when the bout was announced a month later, fight fans were immediately making reservations in their 2017 calendar for March 4.

But what has happened in the build-up since has been quite remarkable and the saga continues to go on with the fight now less than two weeks away.

During their press conference last November, Bellew and Haye exchanged endless criticism of each other, while the latter took fire at Eddie Hearn for his role as Matchroom Boxing promoter - claiming it had become the "Eddie Hearn Show".

Hearn had since opened up about the Bermondsey-born fighter's extraordinary demands in order to agree terms for the fight, while he also appeared to throw a punch at Bellew during their face-off which had to be separated by security.

The pair somehow managed to complete The Gloves Are Off feature on Sky Sports without any major incident, although it made for a tense affair, but Hearn has warned both fighters not to jeopardise the fight with any silly actions when the two come face to face again before fight night.

Frankie Gavin & Sam Eggington Head-to-Head Press Conference

Hearn: fighters must be sensible

"We've just got to keep them sensible. When they come together again, I worry," said Hearn, per Sky Sports.

"I don't want this fight falling through because both fighters couldn't keep their hands to themselves in the build-up.

"Everyone has got to sensible to make sure we all make it in one piece to The O2 Arena."

The Matchroom promoter knows all too well how physical exchanges in the build-up to a fight can put fighters at risk of seeing their big paydays vanish in front of their eyes.


Dereck Chisora vs Dillian Whyte was saved late on after the British Boxing Board of Control decided to allow the all-British heavyweight fight to go ahead, despite Chisora attempting to throw a table at Whyte.

And Hearn knows that his fighter, Bellew, faces seeing his first fight at heavyweight fall through if he and Haye are embroiled in further controversy.

The O2 Arena will provide the venue once again for Haye, since his exit from retirement at the start of 2016, after taking on mediocre opponents in the form of Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj early last year.

Haye looking 'fantastic'

But Hearn is confident Bellew is in a great position to hand Haye a serious test on this occasion.

Boxing at Echo Arena

"Tony looks fantastic, surprised by his weight," Hearn added. "He thought he'd come in lighter - he hasn't tried to bulk himself up, or beef himself up.

"I don't think there will be that much difference in the weight come the weigh-in or fight night.

"He's talked about the differences in camp - he's been locked away in a three-star hotel in Sheffield, away from his family. Haye has been in Miami on private jets and private yachts, very nice!

"But don't be fooled by that. We know he's been training hard behind the scenes."

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