SHOCK and gloom descended over Tony Bellew and his team when they discovered that David Haye was injured and their December 17 fight had been cancelled.

Bellew’s trainer Dave Coldwell spoke exclusively to Boxing News with their reaction. “I’m gutted for Tony I really am. It’s been a hard, hard camp. It’s been very tough on him. There’s no end product for it right now,” he said.

It’s been especially difficult for Bellew, who personally had been mourning the death of his brother-in-law, a close family member, while preparing diligently to repeat a victory over heavyweight David Haye. “He showed immense strength of character. I’ve always had respect for his mental toughness but for him to have just gone through the sessions that we’ve had to, with all that that’s going on, it’s took it to another level,” Coldwell said. “He is an unbelievable professional.”

To make matters worse for team Bellew, they report that Tony had been looking fantastic in training. “The last week, 10 days, I’ve just been, wow, really, really looking forward to this,” his trainer said.

Although Haye has suffered a litany of injuries it’s possible that he can come back and the mooted dates for a rescheduled rematch are March 24 or May 5. “It’s a fresh injury, I suppose that’s a good thing. It’s an injury that could happen to anybody. You fall down the stairs, you put your arm out. You fall off a curb, you put your arm out. You could dislocate your shoulder, you could rupture your bicep, do whatever. It’s one of those things. But again, it’s f****** David Haye again,” Coldwell said. “Right now we’re waiting to see what all the options are and what people like Eddie [Hearn, the promoter] and Sky, what they do. Tony will look at what his options are and we’ll take it from there. If he had done his Achilles [the injury which happened in the first Bellew fight], it’s gone again, he’s not going to make it to the ring. It’s his bicep, a fresh injury like I said, we’ll see.”

“If it’s not too far out, we’ll speak about it. Do we wait? Do we do something else? I don’t know, we’ll see,” he added. “We’ll have to see how quickly he does recover. The best thing about Haye is the team that he has around him, the money that he has available to him to get things sorted, he does recover from his injuries very, very quickly… This could be one of them. But I don’t know.

“Ultimately it’s down to what Tony wants to do.”

Tony Bellew

Tony Bellew and David Haye face off for cancelled rematch

If Joseph Parker suddenly offered a shot at the WBO heavyweight world title, Bellew, who is really just a cruiserweight, could be interested. “You’ve got to see what the options are. If Parker’s there, if it’s worth a crack and worth the fight, then you go with that,” Dave said.

Former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury appeared on social media offering his services as an opponent. Coldwell ruled that out for December 17. “He’s too big,” the trainer said. “That’s not a fight I would entertain whatsoever. Fury is big, long and very, very clever in that ring. There’s no way that I’d be interested in that fight.” Not to mention the fact that Fury still has to have a hearing with an anti-doping panel before he can get a licence to box from the British Boxing Board of Control.

Bellew however does not want to lose the form and fitness he had attained in this camp. “He was devastated when he got the call. He’s had today off. He sent me text this morning, because he’s in good shape, he’s in very good shape, saying ‘I’m not letting this go, I’ll be with you tomorrow.’ I think he’s going to come down for a session tomorrow. But we’ll see. We’ll see how he is,” Coldwell revealed. “He said I’m not letting this go.”