Talk is cheap, as we know, and the mere fact that brand new WBC cruiserweight champ Tony Bellew has called out David Haye, insisting he would beat him and KO him, does not mean the fight will actually happen. But Bellew, who overcame a very capable and dangerously avoided fighter in Ilunga Makabu on Sunday night, has got the attention of the former undisputed cruiserweight king. Haye, as fans know, is campaigning as a heavyweight these days (since 2008 in fact) but he has not ruled out a fight with Bellew.
In fact, Haye has heard Bellew’s challenge, and he has said he would “do it” and take the fight, promising Bellew he would get “smashed to bits.”
Haye, speaking on a video he posted on his Instagram account, asks Bellew if he has “lost his God damned mind!”
“This is a message for Tony Bellew,” Haye says. “First off, congratulations on winning in front of your hometown, home fans, home football club, blah, blah, blah. Congratulations, but among all the excitement, maybe the punch you took in the first-round that dropped you, your brain got scrambled, because it looks like you really want to get knocked out by me, calling me the Bermondsey bitch and talking about knocking me out. You must have lost your God damned mind. After I knock out Shannon Briggs, if you want to be on the list too, I’m knocking out people talking too much. I used to be a cruiserweight, so we’re both the same height and similar size, let’s do it if you want it.”
Bellew actually called Haye out before his great win on Sunday (and Bellew has talked about the possibility of taking a fight with Haye in the past) and while most people put it down to fanciful talking and nothing more, it seems this fight has the ability to grow legs. Could it actually happen? It’s tough to imagine Haye, an approx 220-pounder who is chasing a heavyweight title shot – against Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder – agreeing to work off over 20-pounds of muscle for a cruiserweight battle with any fighter, even a reigning WBC champion. Unless of course, Haye is enticed by a whopping great payday (and if his chances of landing a title shot at heavyweight seriously stall). But could a Bellew fight get Haye that lucrative payday?
The fight, if it took place, in Liverpool, for example, would likely attract a big crowd (close to 30,000 fans showed up at the Bellew-Makabu fight) and with a stellar under-card, the fans could be expected to attend in droves. Forget the fact that Haye, a serious puncher and one of the finest cruiserweights of the last 20 years, would likely blast Bellew out in quick fashion, the fight would have a big curiosity factor to it if nothing else.
And Bellew, a great talker, would make sure the hype and promotion in the lead-up to this one would be a whole lot of fun. Let’s not forget, stranger fights than this one have actually happened.