David Haye and Tony Bellew prepare for rematch build-up

Boxing
Haye and Bellew embrace
Haye and Bellew embrace

David Haye says not acting like a "lunatic" in the build-up to his rematch with Tony Bellew will bring about a different result at the O2 Arena.

An injured Haye was surprisingly defeated in their first fight in March 2017 when Bellew stepped up two weights and produced an 11th-round stoppage.

The build-up to that bout was marred by bad blood, with the two trading insults and even punches at their pre-fight press conference. Haye was also reprimanded for his comments saying he would "legally do as much damage as I can inflict".

The pair will go at it again next Saturday and with interest in this pay-per-view fight already high, Haye has this time not allowed himself to get embroiled in Bellew's "ball of hate" and says he will be better for it.

"There is no drama whatsoever and it has been nice not to have that negative energy," he said at a media lunch at the Park Plaza in London.

"I remember prior to the first fight I wasn't in the right head space, I wasn't in the right frame of mind.

"It might have been the right frame of mind for people to be interested in the fight, because I was doing and saying crazy things so it seemed like I was a lunatic and people really seemed to like that.

"For me as a boxer that doesn't work, I don't get the best out of myself, I am a timing guy, I am a guy who uses speed and skills and athleticism and I was walking around feeling angry and I snookered myself by having that mindset.

"I have reined it in. The first time around I screamed and shouted because I believe the fight needed that. I embraced the hype way too much.

"But when you have got all the beef, when he's coming at me, kicking Toblerones, swearing at me...although we were both saying some horrendous things, it made people tune in and watch the fight.

"Fortunately, this time, off the strength of the first fight, I don't need to scream and shout, I can let my boxing do the talking.

"He loves an argument, he would argue with himself in the mirror, he is just an argumentative human being, always angry.

"He is just a ball of hate and I somehow allowed myself to get into that 'hate zone' with him, he is a natural born hater and I am not really.

"So this time he can do all the moaning."

Despite being 37, Haye wants to rise back to the top of a division where he once fought for the unification of all four belts against Wladimir Klitschko.

To be able to do that, though, he accepts he needs to put on a polished show against Bellew.

He added: "If I want to achieve the very best in the division and win the titles, this fight against Tony Bellew can't be a 50-50 fight, I can't be getting knocked down, cut, hurt because if I can dispatch Tony Bellew in real clinical fashion then what's it all about?"

Related boxing links

Most Read

Follow the action from day one of the PDC Champions League of Darts1

Champions League of Darts Live!

Follow day two of the Champions League of Darts with live scores and video highlights as the likes of MVG, Gary Anderson & Mensur Suljovic bid for glory.

Anthony Joshua on his way to victory at Wembley2

Wilder or Whyte next for Joshua

Anthony Joshua has targeted Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte in his pursuit of an opponent for his April 13 date at Wembley.

Roaring Lion edges past Saxon Warrior in a famous tussle3

Classic option for 5/1 Lion

John Gosden is not ruling out a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic with Roaring Lion who is 5/1 (non-runner/no bet) with Sky Bet for the Churchill Downs showpiece.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse4

Sunday's racing preview

Anita Chambers previews Sunday's action and heads to Uttoxeter for her best bet of the day.

Maxwell Cornet - target for Fulham5

Sunday's Paper Talk

Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong in transfer tug-of-war between Manchester City and Manchester United, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Most Read

Follow the action from day one of the PDC Champions League of Darts1

Champions League of Darts Live!

Follow day two of the Champions League of Darts with live scores and video highlights as the likes of MVG, Gary Anderson & Mensur Suljovic bid for glory.

Anthony Joshua on his way to victory at Wembley2

Wilder or Whyte next for Joshua

Anthony Joshua has targeted Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte in his pursuit of an opponent for his April 13 date at Wembley.

Roaring Lion edges past Saxon Warrior in a famous tussle3

Classic option for 5/1 Lion

John Gosden is not ruling out a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Classic with Roaring Lion who is 5/1 (non-runner/no bet) with Sky Bet for the Churchill Downs showpiece.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse4

Sunday's racing preview

Anita Chambers previews Sunday's action and heads to Uttoxeter for her best bet of the day.

Maxwell Cornet - target for Fulham5

Sunday's Paper Talk

Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong in transfer tug-of-war between Manchester City and Manchester United, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Racing Tips

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse

Sunday's racing preview

Anita Chambers previews Sunday's action and heads to Uttoxeter for her best bet of the day.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Dave Ord is all over an Andrew Balding-trained horse for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Sunday while he has two other selections as well.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Monday's racing preview

Nick Grant makes War Eagle his best Monday bet and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off
17:10 Hamilton
7
(4)
Pammi
J: Jamie Gormley
3
(1)
Soldier To Follow
J: G Lee
1
(8)
Pentland Hills
J: D Allan

Football Tips

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Horses parade in the sun at Sandown Park

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2018.

Lewis Grabban scores from the spot

Sporting Life Acca lands

Wins for Nottingham Forest, Charlton Athletic, Doncaster Rovers and Exeter City ensured Sporting Life's Saturday Football accumulator landed.