Bellew wants interim fight before Haye rematch

By Boxing News - 11/21/2017 - Comments

Image: Bellew wants interim fight before Haye rematch

By Scott Gilfoid: Tony Bellew says he doesn’t want to sit out of the ring waiting for David Haye to heal up before they face each other in early 2018. Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) is interested in taking an interim fight before he meets up with Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) in a rematch next year.

Bellew and Haye were supposed to be fighting each other on December 17 at the O2 Arena in London, UK. The injury Haye suffered has caused that fight to be postponed until next year. Haye, 37, suffered a biceps injury while training this week. He’s already had surgery to repair the problem. Haye believes that he can be back in the ring ready to fight Bellew in March or May of next year. Bellew isn’t sure though if Haye can be trusted, as he’s pulled out of 4 fights due to injuries in the past.

“I am looking at a postponement and getting it on in the first couple of weeks in March,” Bellew said to Sky Sports News. “But can David be ready? Can he be trusted?”

With Haye’s history of injuries, Bellew could wind up in the same situation next year with another delay of their rematch. It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if Haye didn’t train at all, and just went on daily walks around the neighborhood where he lives. I mean, that should be safe for Haye, right?

The problem with Bellew, 34, taking a tune-up/stay busy fight before the Haye rematch is the risk of him losing that fight.

Bellew’s boxing fans aren’t going to want to see him matched against someone pulled off the street, handed a pair of gloves, and thrown into the ring with him. The fans are going to expect Bellew to fight a quality opponent. That’s the problem. If Bellew faces a quality heavyweight, he’s likely going to lose and lose badly. You can create a strong argument that the only reason Bellew beat Haye was because of him suffering an Achilles tendon injury in round 6. Without that injury, Bellew likely would have lost.

If Bellew is going to take an interim fight, his promoter Eddie Hearn will probably look to keep him in house by matching him against one of his Matchroom Sport heavyweights. Of the guys that Hearn has in his stable, Dave Allen stands out as the most beatable of the heavyweights. Allen would still be a very risky fight for Bellew, because he can punch a little and he would be looking to KO him from the get go.

”Maybe David will take an interim fight, and I’ll take one too. Maybe, down the line, we meet again,” said Bellew.

Bellew has already been offered a fight by Tyson Fury on May 5. That’s the one that Bellew should be looking to take. If Fury is serious about wanting to fight Bellew, there’s some good money that can be made if the two of them can properly negotiate the fight.

Heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte also called out Bellew, and he’s ready to fight him in December. Not surprisingly, Bellew hasn’t shown any desire to make that fight. There’s too much risk involved in Bellew fighting Whyte with little reward.

To predict the opponent that Bellew will take for his interim fight, you only need to go back 2 years in the past to see who he was fighting when he was taking tune-up fights at cruiserweight. Here are the guys that Bellew fought in tune-up fights not long ago:

• Arturs Kulikauskis (16-26-5)

• Ivica Bacurin (22-7-1)