David Haye is fighting in the last-chance saloon when taking on Tony Bellew for the second time at the O2 Arena on Saturday, but we reckon the Londoner can come through this win-or-bust contest.
Bellew prevailed in the original bout at the same venue via an 11th-round stoppage 14 months ago, but Haye was hampered by rupturing his Achilles midway through that bout.
If staying healthy this time, the former WBA heavyweight champion is fancied to gain revenge at 11/25 in our Haye vs Bellew 2 betting predictions.
The first contest was an incident-packed but scrappy affair, which occasionally descended into farcical moments more akin to a wrestling match.
Haye will hope for a much cleaner contest this weekend and the chance to showcase his superior boxing skills.
The 37-year-old said: “I know we are both going to be better versions of what we were in the last fight, and the last fight was a cracker – everyone enjoyed it, apart from me.
“I’m going to do what I tried to do last time and failed miserably, and you guys are going to unfortunately see the end of Tony Bellew.”
It is a long time since ex-cruiserweight kingpin Haye impressed in wins over solid opponents such as Nikolay Valuev, John Ruiz and Dereck Chisora, but he should retain enough class to see off Bellew.
Haye’s only loss during that period came when he was outmuscled by Wladimir Klitschko in Germany, but he will face no size disadvantage here.
Bellew to be game but outgunned
Bellew belied his limited skills to also become a cruiserweight world champion and has never been short of confidence.
The 35-year-old declared: “David is not back to win world titles, he’s back to try to rob the bank and he’s trying to do it with as little risk as possible.
“The mistake he made is picking this little fat cruiserweight Scouser with a mouth, because he thought it was an easy fight.
“On Saturday night, David gets put back in his box. Saturday is time to go to war, and your career ends in a beat.”
However, while the Everton fan is brave and durable, the feeling is that Haye can pick him off if putting in a more clinical display.
Bellew was once stopped in the sixth round by Adonis Stevenson back in 2013, but that was the only time he has been beaten inside the distance in 32 pro bouts.
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