This Saturday at the London O2, British heavyweights Tony Bellew and David Haye clash in a rematch of their 2017 bout.
Bellew got the better of Haye in the original fight, defeating the Londoner by TKO in the 11th round. The heavyweight clash was originally set for mid-December but Haye tore a bicep in training and it had to be postponed. He’s now healed and looking for revenge.
We asked our boxing trader and sweet science expert Tommy Young for his thoughts on the big bout…
Ladbrokes News: the first fight was pretty odd, wasn’t it?
Tommy Young: Yeah, that fight started well for Haye. He seemed to be too fast for Bellew and unconcerned by his power. Then in the 6th round his Achilles tendon ruptured. After that he was fighting in pain and off balance until the 11th round when it was finally stopped and Bellew took the win.
These were pretty strange circumstances and rematches often end up very different to the first fight. But there are important things to take away from it for each fighter.
LN: In what sense?
TY: Well, one is that Haye was clearly winning the fight before the injury and is the better boxer. The bookies thought Haye was superior before that fight and had him as a 1/4 favourite.
And for over five rounds he performed as expected. The way the fight was going, nine times out of 10, Haye would have taken the points win or even a late stoppage. Just because Bellew won that first fight, we can’t assume he will just take this one too. He had a big advantage mid-way through.
LN: In David Haye’s case, has he a lot to prove?
TY: Yes, the biggest question mark over Haye is that the injury happened in the first place. He’s 37-years-old now, has boxed 13 rounds since 2012 and 3 of those were against no-hopers.
After 6 rounds of a competitive fight he suffered a bad injury which cost him the fight. He was injury prone in his prime, now he is inactive and getting on, there is every chance something similar could happen again.
LN: You don’t sound too optimistic about the Hayemaker?
TY: Well, as I mentioned earlier, this fight has already been pushed back due to a Haye injury after he lost his balance on some stairs, grabbed the banister and tore a muscle.
12 rounds with Bellew will push his body to its limits and we can’t be sure it will hold up, especially after another year out of the ring since the first fight.
LN: Regarding a prediction, what are you thinking?
TY: At the minute, it’s a pretty tough fight to call. Bellew at 7/4 is too short to back based on an injury play. But at the same time 4/9 about Haye seems a bit too high-risk-low-reward.
Instead I’ll look to the method of victory and Bellew KO, TKO or DQ at 10/3 appeals a bit more.
LN: Ooooft. That’s a big call, Tommy – can you elaborate on why?
TY: Bellew’s power isn’t great but after the criticism Haye’s corner took for letting him fight on in the first fight with a bad injury, they could easily pull him out quicker this time around. That will also be in the referee’s mind when it comes to stopping the fight.
Also, Bellew seems pretty fired up, and Haye will want the fight over quickly. So 9/1 about either fighter to be knocked down in the 1st round has a chance.
Click here for more Bellew v Haye II odds
All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication