The build-up to Tony Bellew’s grudge match with David Haye contained some particularly unsavoury comments from the Haye camp, even by boxing’s current standards.
Haye’s promise to leave Bellew in hospital, with his “skull caved in”, was condemned by the British Boxing Board of Control – especially in light of Nick Blackwell being forced to retire in 2016 after suffering head injuries against Chris Eubank Jr.
And the pre-fight talk clearly got to Bellew, who revealed to Boxing News he made a will for the first time in his life before stepping into the ring.
“People don’t know this but I wrote a will before that fight. It’s the only time I’ve ever done it in my whole career. I wrote a will two weeks before leaving everything to my missus in case anything happened to me because I knew he was capable of really, really hurting me.” he said.
Bellew came out of the fight victorious, and seemed to enjoy that in the end it was Haye who ended up in hospital after rupturing his Achilles.
“It’s all done with now and the only person who went to hospital that night was that clown. Funny how it all works out,” he said.
But the feud between the pair doesn’t seem to be over, even if there are doubts about whether Bomber will step back into the ring again.
Home from Achilles reattachment surgery. I'm overwhelmed with your Positivity, Love & Support.From the bottom of my heart,Thank you all.🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/EogiWi1gR5
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) March 6, 2017
“I can’t even lie and tell you it’s water under the bridge because it’s not, I think he’s an arsehole,” he said.
“I think he was wrong for saying the things he said. I could’ve forgiven him if he came out after the fight and said that he’d said things just to get a reaction out of me but he hasn’t, he’s come out and said he actually meant every single word he said. That disgusted me even more.”
Haye pushed for a rematch after his loss at the O2, a fight in which Bellew said he knew he was capable of hurting Haye too, but with Bellew pondering retirement it may be that this is where the grudge ends.