Even the most extravagant fantasist couldn’t have predicted Haye vs Bellew a year ago. A post-fight interview tirade from Tony Bellew opened the door to this fight,
the altercation at the fight announcement press conference had the boxing world’s eyes firmly fixed on it.
Tony Bellew will be moving up to heavyweight for the first time in his career, previously having competed at light heavyweight and cruiserweight. Bellew recently secured a world title at cruiserweight in an entertaining battle with Ilunga Makabu which ended in a third round ko, following that was a flawless performance in his first successful defence against BJ Flores. The dilemma for Bellew is the cruiserweight division is devoid of internationally recognised superstars, without recognised talent Bellew was missing a dance partner for a mega fight, enter David Haye. By picking Haye there’s all the attraction needed to make a pay per view event feasible but also an opponent who’s closer in size to Bellew somewhat reducing the risk of going up in weight.
Haye’s return after a 3-year absence has been underwhelming, victorious in both fights since his return but the level of his opponents has been heavily criticised. His last credible opponent was Derek Chisora who he fought in 2012. Haye then suffered an injury to his shoulder which needed surgery forcing him to take an extended leave without any guarantee he would return. This fight with Bellew is a chance to possibly redeem some respect David lost from fans directly after losing to Wladimir Klitschko, citing a toe injury as the reason he was unable to perform to the best of his abilities. Fight’s with current world champions Anthony Joshua & Deontay Wilder would also be easier to make and sell if Haye can overcome Tony Bellew.
Bellew deserves some credit for taking a chance in asking for this fight, there are some valid reasons why taking this fight right now may not be as ludicrous as first imagined. Haye’s lack of quality opponents in over 3 years, Haye’s inactivity and lastly Haye’s injury troubles. No issues have arisen in his two return fight’s but the shoulder is yet to be tested past second gear with a capable opponent standing a few feet away.
Ultimately the factors which I see deciding this fight are Haye’s speed and movement. The fighter moving up in weight usually enjoys an advantage in speed and athleticism, this fight is a rare occasion where that is not the case. Haye possesses thunderous power that can knock any legitimate heavyweight out cold never mind a cruiserweight moving up, add a speed & mobility advantage you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Due to the fact, this fight is at heavyweight Bellew does only need to take advantage of one mistake from Haye though David Haye’s elusive style makes landing a hard shot problematic. Putting all the factors together the only reasonable outcome I see is,
David Haye winning by KO (within 3 rounds)