Following the blockbuster battle between Tony Bellew and David Haye earlier this year, the two nemeses will once again go to war in The Rematch at The O2 on Sunday December 17, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
After a fiery build up, Haye and Bellew met at the Greenwich venue in March this year and served up an explosive encounter which left fans on their edge of their seats. Both fighters went toe to toe for a thrilling 11 round contest. Haye bravely fought on despite fully rupturing his Achilles in the sixth round, Bellew was victorious after Haye’s team eventually threw the towel in.
Without doubt, the night left more questions than it answered. The Rematch is set to finally answer these.
Former Cruiserweight king Bellew has fond memories of fighting on Sunday’s having climbed off the canvas in the opening round to brutally KO Ilunga Makabu in the third round of their WBC World title battle at the home of ‘The Bomber’s’ beloved Everton in May 2016, and the Liverpool ace is confident he can repeat his performance earlier in the year.
“I will have the exact same attitude I had going into the first fight – win at all costs,” said Bellew. “I will be victorious on December 17 and I will end David Haye’s career. Another loss to me closes the curtain on the Hayemaker.
“This isn’t personal anymore, it’s strictly business. This is just another fight. My world has been put into perspective in the last four weeks, it’s been the toughest four weeks of my family’s lives and I will dedicate my victory on December 17 to my late brother-in-law.
“He knows how the first fight went, after five rounds I had him 3-2 up, my plan was never to start strong as David is a front-runner. He’s dangerous early but he tires quickly and he doesn’t get stronger down the stretch.
“He’s another year old, the body is more worn and he won’t be able to live with a younger, fresher and more active fighter, he just can’t sustain the tempo and pace once we go past three or four rounds.
“It’s a very dangerous fight but I am looking forward to it. I love The O2 and I wanted the fight to be there. I call the shots this time.”
After seven months of intensive rehabilitation, two-weight World champion David “The Hayemaker” Haye is looking to wreak revenge on Bellew and prove to any doubters that he is still one of the most dangerous Heavyweights on the planet.
David Haye said: “I’m excited to give the public The Rematch they truly crave, ever since the explosive first showdown earlier this year. On March 4, the script was thrown out the window and the unpredictability of sport revealed itself in its most raw form. Without question ‘The Bomber’ showed great heart, grit and determination to weather the early storm. Credit to him, that he’s willing to step back into the lion’s den and do it all over again.
“He somehow won the lottery in our first fight, but believe me, he won’t win the lottery twice.
“I’ve been training every day for over six months. I already feel fitter, stronger and more athletic than I did for our first showdown! On December 17, I will relish the opportunity to re-write the ending of the Haye Bellew story.”
Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I’m delighted to get this one over the line and give the fans the rematch they want to see. Tony had plenty of options on the table but this was the biggest fight out there and one he wants to end once and for all.
“Tony has continuously been written off through his career and has now become a real fans favourite for always putting it on the line. Many felt the first fight was a mismatch, now you know this a pick ‘em fight – if you thought the first one was dramatic then buckle up for December 17.”
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing at Sky Sports said; “This is one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in recent times as arch rivals Tony Bellew and David Haye lock horns again in a pre-Christmas cracker!”
“It’s a rematch which should provide everything – a fiery build-up, compelling action mixed with an uncertain, unpredictable outcome. Will Bellew be able to dig that deep a second time and prevail as an underdog again? Can Haye’s body hold up, having shaken off any physical and mental scars to surely come in lighter and faster? It’s the ultimate battle – Repeat or Revenge?
“We cannot wait to provide all the twists and turns in and out of the ring on Sky – enjoy the crazy ride!”
Tickets go on sale on Wednesday October 4 at midday to O2 Priority members at www.theO2.co.uk.
Tickets go on sale on Thursday October 5 at midday to Matchroom Fight Pass members – an announcement on this will be made soon: and the venue and AXS pre-sale before tickets go on general sale at www.theO2.co.uk.
Header photo by Sky Sports