Bellew angrily shoved Haye backwards before the two were held back. “He just got too close to me and as he got close, he put his forehead on me,” Tony said. “Once I felt his breath on me, I had to remove him from the area. Listen, it was a shove, don’t make a big deal out of it.
“It just shows he really got close to me, but the only thing he will have learnt from that is don’t get too close.”
Haye however took it as a moral victory. “I think the pressure has got to him. I think he’s starting to crack. He wasn’t getting what he wanted from his verbal assaults, arguing over the most trivial things that have got no bearing onto boxing match,” Haye crowed. “I think he was just saying stuff to try and wind me up. He’s a strange fella. I’ve had to allow him to say what he says because I know on Saturday night I will do my talking in the ring.
“I’m focused well and truly on shutting his mouth.”
Bellew now insists he has every angle covered. He reckons that, in their first fight, Haye getting injured and being forced to retreat to the ropes threw him off. Tony has been training specifically for even that eventuality. “I didn’t really box that well in the first fight,” Bellew said. “I’ve prepared for everything in this fight. I’ve prepared for every version of David Haye in this fight. What I didn’t prepare for last time wasn’t injured David Haye sitting on the ropes, waiting to counter with a big right hand. I just didn’t see that coming.
“Funny enough, I’ve even prepared for that in this fight. I’ve prepared with a man lying on the ropes looking for a big right-hand counter. Once I’m into the later rounds in sparring, I’ve had a fresh sparring partner come in, who’s very good on defence, and just looks for one big shot.”
Nevertheless, expect a war on Saturday night. ““He will go down swinging,” Bellew warned, “because he’s a fighter at heart.”