By Tris Dixon
TONY BELLEW and David Haye could not wait for Saturday’s first bell to resume hostilities.
Bellew shoved Haye this time, when at the press conference for the first fight it was Haye who initially lashed out.
Ultimately, it will not be who strikes first but who laughs last after their bout at the O2 in London.
Both tried to rile one another at today’s press conference, without much luck.
Haye said the plan was “to do as much damage in the first six rounds as possible and then step it up.”
The Londoner added that he would not be as clumsy in his efforts as he was in their first meeting last March and that he would be “sharp, explosive and quicker.”
He said he did not expect it would be an early night.
Bellew, ever the opposite in the pairing, did not anticipate the fight going the distance.
“I’m always getting doubted,” he said. “I’m the underdog, going in with a dangerous fighter. Let’s get to Saturday and see how it goes. I just want to fight. That’s all I know how to do.”
“You’re going to have to go somewhere you don’t want to go,” he continued, addressing Haye. “There won’t be a rematch, we will close the curtain on you.”
Haye reckoned that defeat would irrepealably hurt his legacy, that going out on a loss or losing again to Bellew “would undermine everything he had done before.”
Haye’s promoter at Ringstar, Richard Schaefer, called it a “50-50” fight. “Some fights are made for money, some fights are made for titles and some are made for pride – and this is made for pride,” he explained.
Bellew’s promoter, Eddie Hearn said both were putting their careers on the line. “It’s potentially the last time you will see either of these men in the ring.”