Tony Bellew believes David Haye is the “most dangerous heavyweight” in the world but remains determined to settle their bitter rivalry.
Haye has not fought since May and was called out by Bellew last month after the latter had defended his WBC world cruiserweight title by knocking out the Londoner’s friend BJ Flores inside three rounds.
The IBF, WBO and WBA ‘regular’ titles are tied up and with the WBA also happy to sanction Anthony Joshua against Wladimir Klitschko for their ‘super’ title early next year, ‘Bomber’ believes he could be the only fighter willing to take on Haye, who he has branded ‘the b**** from Bermondsey’.
“No one really wants to face David Haye,” he told Sportsclubsociety.
“He’s probably the most dangerous heavyweight in the world. It is such a big risk, with so little reward, which is why, and I understand why, nobody wants to face him. I will. He doesn’t scare me.
“He’s a massive puncher, he’s lightning quick for a heavyweight and he’s a really good fighter. That’s why the heavyweights don’t want to fight him.
I think Haye sees me as a decent reward but a big risk. He knows deep down I am not an easy touch.
“The reason I want to face him is I want to prove I am the best cruiserweight out there. In my eyes he’s a big cruiserweight but he’s still a cruiserweight
“I never thought anyone was going to choose to fight him, he was going to have to force their hand and for David to force someone’s hand, he is going to have to beat a top heavyweight.
“If he want to put himself out there, I am one of the hottest fighters in the world right now.
“I am the WBC cruiserweight champion of the world, I am knocking out everyone I touch and I really do believe I will knock him out, too.”
Bellew sent out a tweet of Haye’s last two opponents, suggesting that Arnold Gjergjaj and Mark de Mori would “not land a punch between them” if he fought them again at the same time.
The Everton fan admits he is just looking for big fights after becoming a world champion and is also looking at the outcome of Denis Lebedev’s WBA ‘super’ and IBF cruiserweight defence against Murat Gassiev in December.
“I think Haye sees me as a decent reward but a big risk. He knows deep down I am not an easy touch. He can say all he wants but he knows when we get in the trenches I am not an easy touch for anyone.
“We will see what he does, but my career does not evolve around David Haye. If David Haye thinks I need him, he is sorely mistaken. I just want a big fight.
“But if he wants to get himself out there, I am the hottest fighter in the world and that means he will also get the payday he is looking for.”
Tony Bellew is part of the Sportsclubsociety team covering the Monte Carlo card, featuring Luis Ortiz, Martin Murray, Jamie McDonnell and Stephen Smith, from 7pm, Saturday, live on Sportsclubsociety 2.