The promoter has a long history with Haye, dating back to 2010 when Hearn promoted his first fighter, Audley Harrison.
Haye would go on to score a destructive third round knockout in a one-sided affair to defend his WBA world heavyweight championship at the MEN Arena, Manchester.
Fast forward eight years and Hearn claimed revenge on Haye as Tony Bellew upset the odds and stopped the former heavyweight champion in March 2017, setting up a rematch between the two tomorrow night (May 5).
Hearn has admitted he once feared the destructive Haye who dispatched Harrison eight years ago, now however Bellew’s promoter has insisted he does not see the same “Hayemaker” of old.
“He’s still a world-class fighter, but he’s not the same David Haye,” Hearn said.
“Because he’s an on top fighter who fights off confidence, and he doesn’t have that same aura about him, that same swag.
“But there’s a ferocity to Haye this time that I didn’t see last time, especially in the things he was saying in the head to head.
“He’s still extremely dangerous, so Tony has to be sharp, he has to be on it and he’s got to get through those opening rounds and break him down, make him work, break his body down and then go from there.”
Many predicted Haye would come in lighter than last year, when the 37 year-old stepped on the scales at 224.9lbs however this time the former unified cruiserweight world champion came in at 220lbs 2oz.
Bellew came in at 213½lbs last year and at his own admission felt too heavy, this time around “The Bomber” weighed 210lbs 4oz and Hearn was left praising the condition of both boxers but insisted his man will be pleased with his counterpart’s weight.
“Tony is in great shape, and Haye’s in great shape, I think you have a great fight” Hearn said. “Haye looks a million dollar doesn’t he? But he always does. Tony said he didn’t want Haye to come in 15.6 or under and he came in at 15.10 so I guess he’s quite happy about that.”
Throughout the build up to Saturday’s rematch, Bellew has stated he is not a natural heavyweight, with all the hints the former cruiserweight world champion may return to his former weight, Hearn did not confirm if this will be certainty.
“The problem is these fights are very dangerous, Usky, Gassiev all those guys,” Hearn said. “Tony is in a position now where he’s cemented his legacy in the sport, he’s secured his family’s future, so it would take the right deal to put him into those kind of fights.
“But he’s a competitor, he loves to fight that’s why he’s here.
“He didn’t have to take this fight, but he wants to do it to prove people wrong and he loves to fight and he’ll do that Saturday night.”
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