By Elliot Foster
Eddie Hearn has backed Tony Bellew to repeat the feat of beating David Haye.
Bellew stopped the 37-year-old former undisputed cruiserweight champion in the penultimate round of 12 last year to secure the future of his family.
The prediction was that Haye would dismantle ‘Bomber’ inside the distance –– but it turned out that Bellew turned the screw at the O2 Arena, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office, 14 months ago.
And promoter Hearn, who is working alongside Hayemaker Ringstar for Saturday’s fight at the same venue as the first clash –– which will also be screened exclusively live in the UK on the same platform as the last one –– is backing the 35-year-old to do it all over again.
“That night in December [when the rematch was first scheduled before Haye suffered a freak arm injury] could have potentially been the last night in Bellew’s career,” Hearn said, “but now everything has completely changed.
“Tony Bellew has decided he wants to carry on. He knows the big fights are out there beyond this fight with David Haye. But of course we have a very difficult fight to overcome.
“When we had the first press conference for the rematch, I talked about how I hoped we would win. This time we believe we’re going to win and now, sitting here, I know we’re going to win this fight.”
Hearn was emotional in the ring after Bellew’s victory in the first fight against Haye and is more confident than he’s ever been that the result will be the same when the pair meet again this weekend.
“You have two very different men at very different stages in their career. You have a former cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion who delivered so much for the sport of boxing and who is still a very good fighter and you have a fighter who has got a set of b****cks on him.
“It comes down to desire and heart. I’ve not really met anyone with more desire and heart than Tony Bellew, I’ve not really seen him this confident before and I am in no doubt that he is going to win this fight on Saturday night.
“I see a different David Haye this time around. I don’t see the same energy or confidence in him that I saw when he beat Audley Harrison after us making that fight. I’m not sure I see the same look in his eye, but we know we have a real fight on our hands and this boy will give every inch of his heart and soul to the people of Liverpool, to his friends and to his family and I promise that you will not be let down.”