LONDON. – Former world heavyweight boxing champion David Haye is 37, has fought just three times in six years, and has an unfortunate knack of picking up injuries in and out of the ring. Yet the British fighter thinks he should still be in the conversation for world heavyweight titles, that he can “achieve the very best in the division.”
Tony Bellew scoffs at that notion.
“David is not back to win world titles, he’s back to try to rob the bank,” Bellew said on Monday, ahead of his all-British rematch against Haye. “He wants to fight little fatties like me.”
Haye certainly looked like a boxer on his way out of the fighting game when he fell through the ropes – bloodied, battered and with only one functioning leg – in an 11th-round loss to Bellew in March 2017.
Known for his impressive physique, athleticism, speed and explosiveness, Haye appeared a spent force that night at the O2 Arena despite being clearly hampered by an Achilles injury sustained in the sixth round. He openly acknowledges underestimating Bellew, a cruiserweight, and thinking he could just turn up and knock him out.
“The last fight was a cracker – everyone enjoyed it, apart from me,” Haye said. “I’m going to do what I tried to do last time, but failed miserably.”
So, Haye has kept a lower profile this time round. He has dispensed with the trash talk and cheap shots. There have been no punches thrown in news conferences like in November 2016
“Last time round I was a bit angry,” Haye said, “this time round not so much.”