At 9/2, the odds really are against Tony Bellew this weekend, in a bout which already has every fan of boxing captivated. He’ll have to pull off something pretty spectacular if he’s to defeat David Haye, who’ll head into the fight as a huge odds-on favourite.
But can he do it?
It’s without question the most entertaining fight of the year so far, as there really is a genuine hatred shared between the pair.
Even though there’s no title up for grabs here, there’s arguably even more at stake on Saturday night in the O2 Arena – pride.
Ever since Bellew called Haye out after defeating BJ Flores last October, fans have been eagerly waiting for the two to sort out their differences in the ring.
— Sky Sports Boxing ? (@SkySportsBoxing) February 22, 2017
The heat has intensified tenfold since that night – so much so that it led Haye to fly out to sunny Miami to prepare for this bout.
But before doing so, he played a huge part in a face-off which sent Twitter into meltdown. This is what happened when the fight was officially confirmed…
— RingSide TV (@RingSide_TV) November 30, 2016
Bellew has since been working hard with his team on home soil, in Rotherham to be exact.
The Hayemaker may have given off the impression he’s been taking it easy over the last few weeks, relaxing on a yacht, partying with his celebrity pals and sparring with Dizzee Rascal (yep!). But he’s back in the UK now, and boy does he look in shape.
I want this camp to last forever. Never felt so happy & relaxed prior to a fight. Think I’ve found the perfect balance of training & fun ?? pic.twitter.com/tMaO7nlA8U
— David Haye (@mrdavidhaye) February 16, 2017
The two fighters look like they’re going about their business in completely different fashions.
On the one hand you’ve got Bellew, who knows how difficult his opponent can be, or rather has been. For every part of his body which feels hate towards Haye, there’s a small fraction of respect.
The same can’t be said for the former unified world cruiserweight champion. He won’t acknowledge Bellew’s ability. He sees Saturday as a walk in the park, and he’ll end the fight when he wants to end the fight – his words.
Their latest press conference brought about even more controversy.
Held in Liverpool, Bellew had the backing of a packed out room full of local lads, who didn’t take too kindly to the visiting Haye.
He actually looked rattled for the first time, too, shouting abuse back to the fans while his opponent sat back and smiled.
And as if it didn’t get any better than that – the pair still have to meet again before they step into the ring, with a final press conference still to come and the weigh-in scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Bellew doesn’t reckon Haye has had a competitive fight since the late 2000s, Haye doesn’t reckon Bellew would have beaten either of his last two opponents.
But who will come out on top?
One thing’s for certain, this story is far from over…
Click here for a full list of David Haye v Tony Bellew odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing