Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte is fuming after Tony Bellew turned his back on a potential December showdown.
Bellew was scheduled to fight on December 17th at the O2 Arena in London, in a rematch with David Haye on Sky Sports Box Office.
The rematch took a turn for the worse on Monday, when Haye withdrew from the fight with a injured bicep.
Haye underwent surgery and there is no exact timeline on when he's going to return. The rematch with Bellew is being kicked around for a potential dates like March 24 and May 5.
Whyte, who just defeated Robert Helenius in late October, was ready to risk his mandatory ranking under the WBC by replacing Haye on the card - but it doesn't appear that Bellew is interested.
The two fighters are stablemates under Eddie Hearn's Matchroom promotional banner.
“It’s just a shame we couldn’t make the Tony Bellew fight,” Whyte told Drivetime. “He could have made so much money. These guys are a disgrace. Back in the day, Sonny Liston and George Foreman would have jumped in – they’ve done it on short notice – even Muhammad Ali did it.
“They realised the importance of savouring and relishing these days. This could have been the perfect Christmas cracker for everyone. People would have tuned in and pre-booked the pay-per-view, got tickets – but Tony Bellew is just a let-down. Tony Bellew is just a massive let-down. Even I’m disappointed in him, I’m not saying that because I’m a fighter, but because of the mentality he’s shown towards me about approaching him for the fight - it’s disgusting.”
Bellew dropped the WBC cruiserweight title in March, to make a move to the heavyweight division for a fight with Haye. In a big upset, Bellew managed to stop an injured Haye in the eleventh round.
For the moment, Bellew is not looking to return to the cruiserweight division, but he's also very selective on which boxer he's willing to face at heavyweight.
“In boxing, everything is about timing,” Whyte added. “He wouldn’t move up to heavyweight to fight David Haye six or seven years ago. I would have fought David Haye six or seven years ago no problem. Everybody forgets Tony Bellew should have been knocked out by a midget, Adonis Stevenson, but I don’t go on about that.
“The guy’s a coward. If you’re going to move up to heavyweight, you have to fight all comers. He said: ‘Oh, I don’t want to fight [Anthony] Joshua. I don’t want to fight Deontay Wilder – but I’m a heavyweight’. If you’re in the weight division, you want to fight the best. That tells you he doesn’t consider himself the best and he doesn’t have the right mind-set.”