FOR me it’s just WWE (David Haye versus Tony Bellew), it’s a match of convenience to ‘cash in’. I can’t knock Tony Bellew, I think he’s done great, but it’s just a money-making match up. It’s certainly not a trade match, it’s a WWE match up and they’re trying to hype it to make as much money as they can. I’m not that interested in it. Unless Haye fights someone like Anthony Joshua, which is possibly on the cards, then I’m not interested at all, and I think others in the trade would tell you the same.
If Haye has anything about him then he should knock Bellew out, because Tony is at such a disadvantage, and I see it being all over early. Haye could be fighting Hulk Hogan, Giant Haystacks or Big Daddy, that’s the sort of ‘carry on’ this fight is. It won’t tell us anything more about where Haye is at with regards to the heavyweight scene at all.
I worked with him earlier in his career and, towards, the end he was trying to make decisions that weren’t best for him. Face to face, when I saw David we got on smashing but regards business-wise, he wasn’t the easiest. For example, he wanted to fight Carl Thompson which I advised him not to because I thought it was too early, and he had the worst defeat of his career. He thought he was a superstar before he was. He wasn’t a ticket seller but insisted on fighting at Wembley Arena (against Thompson). He then wanted a rematch, which I advised against and thankfully Carl wouldn’t take the fight because the TV broadcaster wouldn’t pay enough money. So, it didn’t happen but that would have been a crazy thing to do. A second Thompson fight could have seriously damaged him and his career. It would have been a similar situation to David Price and Tony Thompson.
So, David wasn’t the easiest to deal with, but is obviously a major talent. Sometimes, you have to listen to experience though and take advice on board and David didn’t do that. You can’t knock what he’s done, he’s exciting to watch, and when I’ve seen him after a fight we got on sound. We did help build his career and he fought in some low-key arenas but it was all about building his brand. We got more people taking interest in him and he won his European title under us. He had a couple of dodgy fights where he got put on his backside though. I remember him fighting in Reading and ending up on his backside against Lolenga Mock, he was all over the place and could have been knocked out then. It was all part of his learning curve though that enabled him to go on and do what he did.
David will always be exciting because he will try and knock opponents out, apart from when he fought Wladimir Klitschko, and I’d be interested to see him against Joshua. The problem is he’s not fought anybody, the last couple of fights have been a joke against sub-standard opponents. If he fought someone like Joshua, then it’s a totally different ball game. He also pulled out against Tyson Fury, and the way he went about it didn’t show a lot of consideration, and he didn’t cover himself in glory with that situation.
At this stage of his career it looks like he’s trying to set himself up for a massive fight against AJ that will sort him financially for the rest of his life, and so he won’t have to face any more dangerous opponents. It looks like he’s already thinking about life after boxing with promoting, but being a good fighter doesn’t necessarily make you a good businessman.