By Keith Idec
David Haye will get his shot at redemption December 10.
According to a report posted Monday afternoon by The Sun, Tony Bellew and Haye have agreed to fight again that day at O2 Arena in London. Bellew stopped a hobbled Haye in the 11th round of their heavyweight fight March 4 at O2 Arena.
The London tabloid reported that their rematch will take place on a Sunday because O2 Arena is booked for every Saturday until they’ll meet early in December.
Haye was heavily favored entering their first fight, but suffered a torn right Achilles’ tendon in the sixth round. Haye was able to fight through that painful injury for four-plus rounds, but Bellew battered him at times, dropped him once apiece in the sixth and 11th rounds, and referee Phil Edwards stopped their fight at 2:16 of the 11th round.
The 36-year-old Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) underwent surgery to repair the serious injury and took part in an extensive rehabilitation program. The 34-year-old Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) considered retirement, but ultimately opted for another big payday, as well as chance to prove that Haye’s injury wasn’t the primary reason the ex-WBC cruiserweight champion was able to upset the former WBA heavyweight champion.
“At first my hand was damaged and my face was sore,” Bellew told The Sun. “I had headaches for a while and I think to myself, ‘How much more can the body take?’
“Yes, I did think about [retirement]. I sat down the missus and she said, ‘Listen, we’ve earned enough. We’ve got enough property.’ It was down to me to make a decision, and I said, ‘I can do more.’ I’m getting better as I get older and I don’t want to walk away and think, ‘Imagine if I would have fought him.’ I’ve still got a lot of fight in me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.