David Haye Set to Face Tony Bellew in Heavyweight Rematch
SOURCE: DAVID HAYE VIA SKYSPORTS
David “Hayemaker” Haye and Tony “the Scouser” Bellew left crowds hungry for more when their exhilarating March grudge fight ended with a surprising upset by Bellew and a torn Achilles tendon by Haye.
Now that Haye is fully recovered, the two Heavyweight contestants are keen to continue their beef. A rematch between Haye vs Bellew is finally confirmed for December 17 and will unfold at The O2 in London.
What happened in their first fight, and what can we expect to see in a rematch? Let’s take a look.
Recap: Bellew V Haye I
Haye and Bellew traded blows back in March after a bit of verbal sparring finally landed them in the ring to settle things the old-fashioned way. The former two-weight world champion, 37-year-old David Haye, was considered the favourite leading into the match, even though he hadn’t fought in over a year. For 34-year-old Bellew, this was his debut Heavyweight match and a chance to claim the spotlight.
Both men had the same 28-2 record as well, but 26 of Haye’s victories were KOs, compared to only 18 of Bellew’s. Here’s a quick refresher in case you missed the match.
Haye, weighing about a stone more than Bellew, landed some major blows in the first two rounds. But it was Bellew that forced Haye into the ropes with a solid left hook, as Haye struggled to land numerous swings against his opponent.
The Hayemaker had been dominating the centre of the ring since the match began, but Bellew slowly wore his stamina down, dancing around him until Haye’s timing became noticeably flawed.
Haye bounced back, catching Bellew with a proper combination that left him in a daze. Haye’s range expanded and he began moving his feet a bit more. It seemed like the Londoner was looking for a finishing blow to end the fight.
The round that changed it all: both fighters were beginning to look weary when Haye fell to the canvas. He beat the count and was saved by the bell, but he didn’t look too hot. It was later determined that his Achilles tendon was torn, but for now, the fighter simply taped up his ankle and resumed the match.
Haye persisted until the 11th round. Despite all odds, he even landed some extremely aggressive hits against Bellew, which could have knocked the Scouser out had he not been careful. But with only one-leg to rely on, Haye was looking a lot like the round pound: ready to be retired. As he struggled for balance, he was removed from the ring by his trainer, leaving the underdog Bellew victorious.
SOURCE: YOUTUBE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Bellew V Haye II: Rematch Analysis
It took months to negotiate, but a rematch has finally been confirmed for December 17th (which happens to be close to Boxing Day). What will a grudge match between the Hayemaker and the Scouser look like?
In their first fight, Haye made a strong opening pitch, loading the first two rounds with heavy hits and massive blows. However, he noticeably waned afterwards, and Bellew deftly strode through 11 rounds to deliver a stoppage defeat. Many expect Bellew to perform similarly, in which case winning comes down to quick footwork and fierce jabs.
For Bellew, victory seems secured. If the Liverpudlian can spar with Haye as he did on March 4th, then there won’t be much of a problem wearing him down again. The question is whether Haye could have won their first fight had he been uninjured? Bellew doesn’t seem to think that’s a concern, mentioning that it “can all end in the first ten seconds”.
As for Haye, all eyes will be on his Achilles heel. Although it’s only been nine months since he sustained his injury in the ring, Haye is happy with the progress and claims he’s in “perfect” physical fitness. The 36-year old has put his injured Achilles heel to the test, applying pressure, and ticking it over with a series of lead-up training sessions. Haye is looking to get into the ring in optimal condition and has dismissed any concerns regarding his fitness.
A lot is on the line for Haye. Although the Londoner has recovered from his injury, he sees the rematch with Tony Bellew as career defining fight. Haye has a desire to take over the heavyweight division, and a fight against the WBA (Super), IBF and IBO heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, is firmly in his sights. However, a loss to Bellew would rule out any chance of a future bout with 2012 Olympic Champion. Haye knows he needs to impress as even if he scrapes through with a win, it won’t be enough. Speaking with talkSPORT recently, Haye said, “If I can’t beat Tony Bellew, my competitive boxing career is effectively over.”
Can Haye Get His Revenge?
Could this be the final match for the Hayemaker? With Haye still reeling from his March loss, it could either be an exciting comeback for the Londoner, or a relatively easy victory for Bellew if something happens to go wrong.
What we know for sure is that this will be a thrilling Heavyweight match to watch!