By Scott Gilfoid: David Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) is not going to let himself get out of control for his final press conference with Tony Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) or more importantly for their fight this Saturday night on May 5 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Haye, 37, blew a gasket during the run-up to his fight with Bellew last March, and he ended up suffering a ruptured Achilles in round 6. The injury turned the fight around, allowing the slower, weaker Bellew to stop Haye in the 11th after he slipped and fell out of the ring.
Being in Liverpool is going to be hard enough for Haye. Trash talking, and cat calls don’t win fights. Haye didn’t lose to Bellew last time because of him looking bad and getting upset during the final press conference last year. Haye lost because of the injury. Haye was getting the better of Bellew up until the Achilles injury in round 6. That injury had nothing to do with Haye losing his temper during the press conference.
There were already rumors before the fight that Haye had a calf injury problem. The fact that Haye ended up tearing his Achilles suggests that those rumors might have been true. In hindsight, Haye should have postponed the fight if he was injured, because he could have avoided the loss. A healthy Haye likely beats Bellew 100 out of 100 times. An injured Haye gives the slower, weaker and easier hit Bellew his only chance.
”If I can’t control my emotions in a press conference, how am I supposed to control them in a boxing ring?” Haye said to skysports.com.
Haye looked like he was fighting at 50 percent capacity before he ruptured his Achilles in the 6th. It looked to me like Achilles was favoring one leg before he ruptured his Achilles. The fight was very close. I had Haye leading the contest based on his dominant jab, which he kept nailing Bellew with it repeatedly.
Haye didn’t look like he was trained at all for his previous fight with Bellew. During the weeks leading up to the fight, there was talk that Haye wasn’t training, and he was hanging out in the sauna, taking it easy. If Haye did have a bad calf injury, you can fully understand why he was spending so much time in the sauna. He was trying to get the injury to heal in a brief period of time. With a bad calf injury, you’re not going to be able to come back from that in a week or two.
If Haye is 100 percent healthy and well-trained for the rematch on Saturday, it’s a slam dunk that he beats the brakes off Bellew. I hate to say it but Bellew isn’t very good. He’s not one of the class heavyweights, and he clearly isn’t among the best cruiserweights. If Bellew was one of the top cruiserweights, he wouldn’t have dodged the fight with Mairis Briedis the way he did.
Bellew would have stayed at cruiserweight and defended his WBC belt against Briedis to show the boxing world that he wasn’t a paper champion. Unfortunately, Bellew chose to fight BJ Flores after he won the WBC strap, and then he moved to heavyweight for a fight with Haye last year. The World Boxing Council wasn’t going to wait around for centuries for Bellew to get around to defending their strap against Briedis, so they did the only thing they could do by stripping him of his strap and giving him the emeritus champion tag, which means he can come back at any time and look to fight WBC champion Oleksandr Usyk. Thus far, Bellew hasn’t been in a rush to try and fight the talented Usyk.
“No doubt about it. Hopefully I react like a professional, as opposed to a football hooligan as I did last time,” Haye said. “Last time was entertaining. Last time, I wasn’t the most pleasant to the guys who were screaming abuse me.”
What difference does it make whether Haye is being screamed at? That’s not why he lost the fight to Bellew. Haye lost because he was injured, period. Had Haye been 100 percent healthy for the fight, he would likely blitz the stork-like Bellew straightaway on the night. Bellew is made to order for a healthy Haye with the way he stand straight up when he fights, and the fact that he likes to slug.
Bellew would have stood no chance of beating Haye if he was healthy, well-trained and active with his career. Unfortunately, all those things were missing from Haye’s game for the fight. Haye had been out of the ring for 4 years from 2012 to 2016 due to a terrible shoulder injury.
When Haye did come back, he bowled over two soft jobs in Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjai in back to back quick knockout victories. Those two heavyweights were technically top 15 ranked contenders at the time, but they didn’t look like they belonged in the top 100 heavyweights in the division. Haye’s wins over those guys proved nothing. What Haye needed to do was get 5 or 6 good wins over bottom feeders under his belt before he took the fight with Bellew, because he’d been out of the ring for way too long to be taking on any kind of contender, even a guy that doesn’t belong at heavyweight.
”If David wants to roll back the years, he has to keep his emotions in check. If he keeps himself calm, we could see him close to his old self,” former super middleweight champion Carl Froch said to skysports.com.
What on earth is Froch babbling about? Haye doesn’t need to keep his emotions in check. If anything, he should be going berserk at the final press conference and staying angry throughout the fight, because it’ll help him. Haye is at his best when he’s keyed up for his fights. The last thing Haye needs to do is be quiet, meek and mild for the final press conference. Haye needs to give Bellew a piece of his mind and tell him what he really thinks of him. Why hold back? It’s no good for Haye for him to get dumped on by Bellew and by his boxing fans without firing back with both barrels.