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Haye wants Joshua in 2018

By Scott Gilfoid: David Haye believes he’s 2 fights away from a mega-fight against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2018. For Haye to get the moth-watering fight with Joshua, he needs to first get past Tony Bellew in their rematch on December 17.

That fight is effectively a do or die match for Haye. If he loses or looks bad in winning, then there’s no point in him continuing on with his career. He won’t be able to get the Joshua fight if he loses to the 34-year-old Bellew or if he labors to a 12 round decision.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn hasn’t mentioned the 37-year-old Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) in the plans for Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) in 2018. Hearn is talking about wanting to match Joshua against these fighters in 2018: Joseph Parker or Deontay Wilder.

There’s also a chance that Joshua may need to face the World Boxing Association mandatory challenger next year, whoever that is. It’s currently Luis Ortiz, but it’s unclear whether the WBA will retain the 38-year-old Ortiz as their mandatory in light of his recent positive drug test. The WBA will make a determination soon on what they’ll do with the mandatory spot. If they order Joshua to face Ortiz or the next highest ranked contender in their top 15 rankings, then that’s a fight that will need to take place next year.

“That would be the ultimate perfect scenario,” said Haye to “I have a couple of fights, he has a couple of fights. If we both keep winning then a big stadium, me v Anthony Joshua, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. However, I can’t even remotely even start thinking about that if I can’t perform against Tony Bellew,” said Haye.

In what has to be viewed as positive news, Hearn mentioned Haye as a possibility for Joshua recently. The promoter sees that fight as a possibility if Haye can beat Bellew. There’s a lot of money to be made for Joshua in a bout against Haye on Sky Box Office, but everything will depend on how his rematch with Bellew goes. Haye absolutely has to beat Bellew or else he can forget about Joshua permanently. Hearn isn’t going to throw a bone to Haye by giving him the Joshua fight for sentimental reasons.

If Haye can’t beat Bellew, then it’s not a doable option for Hearn to make the Joshua-Haye fight. Hearn would take too much withering fire from the British boxing fans if he made a Joshua vs. Haye fight under those circumstances. The last thing Hearn wants to do is hurt Joshua’s brand by having him take needless fights. You can argue that Hearn has already stalled Joshua’s career by putting him in mismatches against Eric Molina and Dominic Breazeale. Those were needless fights, and a sheer waste of time, as was the fight against Charles Martin. That was just Joshua picking up a paper title against a weak champion.

Haye fights Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) in a rematch on December 17 on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, England. If nothing else, Haye and Bellew will both get a good payday for this fight. Bellew is clearly not a true heavyweight. He’s just a former WBC cruiserweight champion, who opted not to take on a dangerous fighter in Mairis Briedis.

Bellew moved up to heavyweight to face Haye rather than face Briedis. If Bellew were to move back down to cruiserweight and look to fight the eventual winner of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, he’d likely lose. The expected winner of the WBSS is Oleksander Usyk, and he’s far too good for Bellew in my opinion. As such, Bellew is fighting Haye. What happens after that for Bellew will be determined by how well he does against Haye. If Bellew loses, it’s hard to picture him going back down to cruiserweight to try and push for a fight against the winner of the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Bellew is the WBC Emeritus champion, so he can get title shot against the WBC champion in that weight class whenever he pleases.

Haye and Bellew tangled earlier this year on March 4 in a fight that was won by Bellew by an 11th round knockout. The win was an injury-assisted victory for Bellew, as Haye hurt his Achilles during the 6th. Bellew was losing the fight up until the injury. Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes that he’s going to be able to wear down Haye in the rematch with pressure and a fast pace that will lead to him suffering another injury. Bellew wasn’t doing a lot of wearing down. Other than landing a few good punches in the first 5 rounds, Bellew was largely eating jabs from Haye, and dashing away each time he would show aggression. It was a spoiling affair for Bellew, with him focusing mostly on not getting hit. Had the fight gone the full 12 rounds, it’s likely that Haye would have won with his jab and boxing skills. Bellew wanted not part of mixing it up with him. That was clear.

“If I can’t beat Tony Bellew, my competitive boxing career is effectively over,” said Haye. ”There is no need me even mentioning any other names in the heavyweight division, about wanting to fight for titles, fight this guy, that guy. Even If I win, I may still retire,” said Haye.

There would be a small chance that Haye still might be able to hang on long enough to get a crack at champions Deontay Wilder or Joseph Parker if he loses to Bellew. Those guys would still need recognizable names to fight, and Haye is one of the more popular fighters in the heavyweight division.

If Hearn is going to drag his feet about making a fight between Joshua and Wilder, then Haye might be someone that could get a shot against the Bronze Bomber in the meantime. Bellew doesn’t seem to be too interested in fighting the 6’7” Wilder, and I doubt that he would ever agree to fight Parker. Hearn seems to really want Parker for Joshua in early 2018, so he’s going to be fine. Parker won’t have to wait the way Wilder is being forced to.

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