What a doozy this past weekend turned out to be. Tony Bellew put in an explosive performance against veteran BJ Flores, devastating his opponent, and then did the verbal equivalent to spectator David Haye. ‘The Bomber’s lengthy tirade was akin to a wrestling star’s theatrics, but his strong distaste of Haye’s “pathetic” comeback was anything but baseless. And with Bellew assuring the world he’d whoop Haye and his “SpongeBob haircut”, a potential showdown shouldn’t be too hard to make.
Well, in theory at least. Cos’ this is boxing, after all. An arena where maintaining optimism can become a real strain when many ‘big fights’ continue to be delayed. Haye vs Bellew may not be inked in yet, but let’s just run with it for now so we can explore whether it’s actually a great fight, or, a shoddy one dressed in tinsel. Let’s keep it simple, pros and cons style (with the assumption Heavyweight is where they’d meet).
Reasons Haye vs Bellew is Great
Haye Would Be in With a Live Opponent
Finally. Even if you’re Bellew’s number one detractor, there’s no denying he’s a live body with plenty of grit, obvious killer instinct, and comes to win. Something profound happened to Bellew on the night he climbed off the deck to obliterate Ilungu Makabu, and Bellew now seems pretty unrecognizable as a fighter. Bellew’s transformation from Light Heavyweight nearly-man to Cruiserweight destroyer (am I getting carried away?) is impressive, to say the least.
‘Size’ Might Not Be a Huge Issue
OK, how many times have you heard that one this year? Khan will be as big as Canelo. Brook will be bigger than Golovkin, even. But in the end the ‘good big guy’ seemed to always beat the ‘good small guy’. Is that true here? Well, it’s a given that Haye is faster, more athletic, and carries greater dynamite, but Bellew wasn’t far off when he called Haye a pumped-up Cruiser. Haye is more of a Heavy now than he’s ever been – mainly due to filling out with age – but he’s not a ‘big Heavy’ at 6’ 3” (where Bellew stands). With no scale limits, Bellew could of course graze to his heart’s content to match the ‘Hayemaker’, who weighed in at 225 lbs previously.
It’s an Actual Fight for David Haye
All right, maybe Haye, a decorated Cruiserweight and former Heavyweight champ doesn’t deserve to be thwarted left, right and centre for his ‘comeback’ to date, but come on. The guy has been fighting some truly dreadful opponents thus far, and Tony Bellew at least, however you view his chances, looks like Deontay Wilder next to the listless Haye opponents Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj.
Reasons Haye vs Bellew is Just Great Hype
Unfinished Business at Cruiser & Heavyweight
Hold your horses! Haye vs Bellew might be an insult-flinging contest right now, but is that enough reason to warrant a meeting of fists? Does an emerging Cruiserweight star – with no Heavyweight experience – need to face an established, dangerous Heavyweight right away? Probably not. So instead, how about this: Haye tackles a couple of decent Heavyweight players first, while Cruiser titlist Bellew gets past at least one more major threat at 200 lbs before climbing the ladder to find Haye? (See Boxing Base’s Top 10 Heavyweights & Cruiserweights)
Haye vs Bellew Could Be an Ugly Mismatch
Unless Haye has lost all hunger for the sport or were to age overnight, there’s a good chance this fight – more than likely a PPV gig – wouldn’t be too competitive. Bellew is enjoying a very good year, but can he really compete with a refined, ferocious puncher like Haye who, let’s remember, has done a lot in boxing? We don’t need to dig up the careers of both men to know that Haye, a man who did serious damage at Cruiserweight before capturing a Heavyweight strap, should be superior in notable areas. The big question: Is Bellew really a legitimate adversary just because he beat an avoided prospect in Ilunga Makabu?
Discuss your own thoughts in the comments below, folks. Is Haye vs Bellew on your boxing wish list? Or would you prefer they stuck to the business at hand in their respective weight divisions before colliding?