THE weight still matters. Last year, when Tony Bellew jumped up from cruiser to heavyweight, to fight former world champion David Haye, it seemed a foolhardy move. But Bellew now only won the first fight, in March 2017, he appeared to hold his own in the first five rounds until Haye suffered a major Achilles tendon injury. Their physical condition, more than a year on, therefore was closely observed at the Tony Bellew and David Haye weigh in Friday at Indigo at the O2.
Bellew had bulked up for the first fight but felt fleshy then. He came in last year at 213½lbs but actually thought that was shade to big, fearing the extra weight slowed him and taxed his stamina. At the weigh in today Bellew scaled 210lbs 4oz.
“It doesn’t make any difference,” Bellew said. “It just allows me to open the tank up earlier than I did last time and hopefully not be blowing out of my a*** as well. Weight is not a big issue. He’s a big cruiserweight, I’m a big cruiserweight. Some people call me a fat cruiserweight still. I’m not on the cruiserweight limit but I’m in really good shape. That might not come across.
“When he gets on the scales they’re going to go, ‘Wow look at the muscles, look at the abs and all.’ Then I get on and it’s Mister soft. But underneath the soft complexion is a fighting man. A hard f*****, a horrible, horrible person. When he gets going, mate, he’ll do whatever it takes to win. A man who knows no end. I have no switch off button. So if he smashes my face in, if he does my eye, if he does my nose, I’m fighting.”
“I fight to the finish. He better knock me clean cold,” Bellew concluded. “When the gloves go on I don’t care about anything else. I just want to wreak havoc. I just want to cause absolute mayhem. And I’m going to do that on Saturday night.”
Haye had been 224½lbs for their first fight. Today he weighed in lighter, a still ripped 220lbs 2oz. He surely has gone for mobility too, but has still retain a significant weight advantage. He looked in good shape too. Despite the injuries that have plagued him in the past, Haye said, “I’ll be in the ring for 12 rounds, injury free, healthy, throwing bombs from the start so do not blink.”
He squared up to Bellew for the face off, looking more animated than he has all week, speaking constantly to the Liverpudlian as Tony responded in kind.
Earlier Haye had warned, “I’m going to be bringing the heat more than I did last time. Last time I brought it but it wasn’t educated pressure. It was just reckless pressure. This time it’ll be educated. Tony Bellew looks in much better condition this time round, as am I. So I envisage a very, very good, competitive, tough fight. But I will have my hand raised at the end of the night.”