In what has been dubbed “a freak show” between boxers David Haye and Tony Bellew, the former is now set for a hearing with the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) thanks to his recent trash talking against his opponent.
The pair are due to face a showdown on Saturday (4 March) but have been kept away from one another at press conferences because of frustrations. After Haye threatened to “hospitalise” Bellew, the BBBofC are now considering a punishment. Here’s exactly what Haye said in an interview with The Telegraph (it’s pretty graphic):
“I’m looking at putting a combination together where he is unconscious but his brain hasn’t told his legs to fall down and I’m still hitting him while he’s upright.”
It comes as no surprise that this kind of talk has led to investigations, and BBBofC secretary Robert Smith’s response to Haye’s comments is probably something that resounds with all who heard the news: “As a father, man and human being, I am very disappointed to see Haye's comments about wanting to hospitalise Bellew. Why has he chosen to say something like that? I'm disappointed on several levels and coming from someone who is deemed to be a role model it is clearly not right, and we will be speaking with him this week." Role model, indeed.
The match is due to be one of the biggest rivalries in British boxing for decades, and Haye has suggested that protective barriers be put in place during fight week so that no violence occurs before the pair step foot in the ring. All of this started during a press conference last year where it appeared that Haye and Bellew had a genuine hatred of one another leading to the two squaring off and a punch being thrown. “A human being isn’t enough!” Haye said in response to protection.
Haye was right. At a Liverpool news conference on Monday, the pair were physically kept apart, but this didn’t affect the insults that were thrown back and forth. Haye seemed frustrated that the majority of the audience in attendance were rooting for Bellew, and took his anger out on his opponent’s fans labelling them “f****** retards”. A much more toned down Bellew responded by labelling Haye “Sideshow Bob”.
The very real threat of investigation hasn’t dampened Haye’s trash talking in any way, however, and he remains adamant that Saturday’s match will be the end of the career of the WBC cruiserweight champion, “He won't be boxing after March 4, no way. Just like John Ruiz didn't box, just like Mark de Mori, just like Nikolai Valuev. There are a lot of fighters when I fight them they stay hit forever and never fight again. He will be on that list of people I've sent into retirement.” This isn’t the first time that Haye has found himself in trouble with the BBBofC. Back in 2012, his boxing license was withdrawn after a brawl with Dereck Chisora, and it wasn’t until the year later that his license was sanctioned.
Bellew holds a record 28 wins and one draw from 31 total fights with Haye boasting the same from 30 fights. Excitement continues to build for the fight at the O2 on Saturday and at present Haye stands as the favourite to win with odds at 1/6 and a knockout being offered at 3/10. Bellew, ‘The Bomber’, stands at 5/1 to win with his best chance at a victory knockout at 7/1.