April 30, 2018
April 30, 2018
Boxing - Tony Bellew & David Haye Press Conference - London, Britain - February 21, 2018   Tony Bellew and David Haye pose after the press conference    Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

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Tony Bellew vs David Haye – Five key questions

Tony Bellew meets David Haye for the second time at London’s O2 Arena in a heavyweight grudge match on Saturday (May 5).

Here are five key questions going into the main-event:

Is Haye past his prime?

Making his debut back in December 2002, Haye exploded onto the domestic scene as a cruiserweight where he would later go on to become a unified champion.

After just five years in the paid ranks Haye stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck in seven rounds to become unified cruiserweight champion. Two years later he moved up to heavyweight where, in 2009, he defeated Nikolai Valuev for the WBA world title.

Four fights and three years later Haye retired after a career battling injuries, only for the two weight champ to return in 2016 where he made easy work of Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj before losing to Bellew in 2017.

With a career spanning over 127 fights both professionally and in the amateurs, at the age of 37 has David Haye surpassed his best?

Has Bellew adapted to the weight?

In a 11 year professional career which saw ‘The Bomber’ debut at light-heavyweight and having captured the WBC world title at cruiserweight, moving up to heavyweight was not something originally in Bellew’s sights.

Bellew stepped on the scales at 15st 3lbs 8oz for their first fight, almost a stone heavier than he had ever weighed before, and the 35 year-old admitted he made a ‘mistake’ in the weight.

“Last time I was a fat heavyweight. This time is a completely different ball game,” he told Sky Sports.

“Last time I had the belief in my mind that I had to be heavy, to absorb what he was going to dish out,” he continued.

“It wasn’t until the seventh round that I realised that was a big mistake.

So, at the second time of asking, can Bellew get the weight right?

tony bellew vs David Haye

Is Haye injury free?

In a career plagued with injuries Haye has been no stranger to pulling out of fights, even before his professional run began.

Haye pulled out of the 2002 Commonwealth games in Manchester following a bicep injury at the age of 22, and just three years later it was his hamstring which forced a fight with Mark Hobson to fall through.

Before Klitschko handed Haye his second loss on July 2, 2009 the Brit pulled out of their initial fight date in June, 17 days prior, but the injuries did not stop there as the former WBA title holder blamed a broken toe for his unification defeat.

Haye would later pull out of a fight against Germany’s Manuel Charr with a hand injury in 2013 and the same year two proposed fights with domestic rival Tyson Fury failed to materialise after a shoulder injury and a cut in sparring for the Hayemaker.

A returning Haye would go on to suffer a ruptured achilles against Bellew and after undergoing successful surgery to his injury the rematch was scheduled for December 17 however, the fight was cancelled in November after the 37 year-old suffered a biceps injury.

Entering fight week rumours of a Haye injury are yet to surface, but after a career of injury problems, has the damage already been done?

Will Bellew return to the cruiserweight division?

Despite Bellew once targeting the likes of Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker and Tyson Fury, it seems the Liverpudlian has changed his perspective, mainly to do with Joshua’s quest for undisputed glory.

With heavyweight contention all but put to bed, Bellew told BBC 5 Live challenging the WBSS cruiserweight final winner will be his targeted destination, and even after losing the WBC version of the world title The Bomber finds himself as emeritus’ champion, which means upon returning to the division, he will be granted a title shot

Is this enough to tempt Bellew back to the cruiserweight division?

Where does the winner go?

Haye had admitted defeat could spell the end of his career, Bellew on the other hand, does not share the same opinion, but insisted he is not likely to stay at heavyweight.

Former heavyweight champion Haye said in a press conference even an underwhelming win could see him end his career for a second time. However, victory could also see him challenging amongst the best in a packed heavyweight division, which is also crammed with domestic challengers, so another British counterpart, maybe even Anthony Joshua, could meet the Hayemaker if he comes through the Bellew fight victorious.

With Bellew already eyeing a potential unification bout with the WBSS winner, he could find himself in line for a shot at becoming undisputed world champion and holding all four of the major organisation titles.

Does Haye retire after defeat? And what weight will Bellew stick at whatever the result?