Bellew vs Haye 2 is showing live at all three UK Topgolf venues on 05/05/2018. Entry is free.
You watch the big boxing matches but don’t really know what you’re talking about. In spite of this, when the bell goes, you get swept up in the action and start talking as though you’re a pro. Before you know it, you’re spilling lager everywhere and shouting “Why don’t he just lamp him one?!’
We’re here to help you sound like an expert when you’re talking about Tony Bellew vs David Haye 2, rather than just another drunk football fan who doesn’t know his hooks from his uppercuts. Zip through our guide below and you can blag your way to expert status on Saturday night – when you’re watching the fight live at Topgolf.
1) Know your history
David Haye by Fitness professional is licensed by CC 3.0
You’ve probably got a vague awareness of David Haye’s stint as heavyweight champion, which ended when he lost to Wladimir Klitschko and proceeded to show off his broken toe to everyone. If you’re as casual a boxing fan as most people are, you might even have been unaware of Tony Bellew until he fought Haye for the first time last year – and earned a TKO victory after Haye busted his Achilles in the sixth round.
There’s a lot more to Bellew than the overnight fame that arrived in the wake of his win – but you don’t need to learn all of it. It’s sufficient to know that after moving up to Cruiserweight and winning a European title in his second fight at the weight, Bellew upset the odds with a brutal knockout of Ilunga Makubu to win his first world title at Goodison Park. After stopping BJ Flores in the second round of his first defence, lifelong Evertonian Bellew went on to fight Haye in November 2016 – and neither fighter has fought again until now.
So what more do you need to know about Haye? Essentially, he isn’t the overrated show pony most casuals seem to think he is. Haye was never really a genuine heavyweight but still managed claim a world title and defend it against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison. Prior to his move up to boxing’s biggest table, he’d reigned supreme at cruiserweight, stopping the likes of Jean-Marc Mormeck and Enzo Maccarinelli on his way to unifying the division.
2) Get fighting familiar
Tony Bellew once declared that he is nothing more than “a scouser in a tracksuit who loves fighting.” Without wishing to underestimate the skill it takes to fight at world level, it was a fairly accurate (if not entirely serious) assessment of his style. Bellew might not sport the lightning speed or bodybuilder physique of his opponent but he has the heart of a lion and is a well-rounded fighter who seems to relish a night in the trenches. The Liverpudlian might not always demonstrate thunderous power but has knockouts on his record and has climbed off the canvas to win more than once; Bellew is as tough as they come – and has plenty of stamina to boot.
Haye might not appear to have the same natural ferocity as Bellew, but there’s no doubting how dangerous a boxer he is. A much more technical fighter than his northern counterpart, the south Londoner is capable of blazing through his foes with hard, fast combinations as he did against Mormeck, or staying on the outside and controlling rounds behind his jab, as demonstrated in his victory over Valuev. Bellew noted after the first match-up that Haye hit harder than any opponent he had faced previously. The question is, is can Bellew soak up Haye’s best punches and drag the fight into the later rounds, where his resilience comes into play? And will Haye’s aging body stand up to the demands of the fight - or crumble under pressure again?
3) Get personal
David Haye at Tup Tup Palace is licensed by Johnvedwards by CC 3.0
They’ll never admit it, but hardcore boxing fans care as much about fighters’ personalities as they do skills and tactics; Floyd Mayweather earned a fortune by making people hate him so much, they’d pay to watch him lose – even though that never happened. So who are Messrs Bellew and Haye outside the ring?
Even though both men hail from working-class backgrounds, many perceive this battle as a classic case of Snooty Southerner versus Gritty Northerner. When he’s not spouting obscenities in interviews, Haye does has something of the slick businessman about him; there’s a touch of arrogance about the Bermondsey boy. Haye’s calculated PR stunts and good looks (he has modelled for the same agency as Kate Moss and Emma Watson) only add to the impression that he is as much a celebrity as a fighter. For some, Haye is a little too polished.
Bellew on the other hand, is as rough a diamond as they come. While he’s not averse to spikey press comments himself, nobody could describe the scouser as arrogant – and he certainly isn’t as photogenic as Haye, which for some people, seems to makes him far more relatable. The scouser comes across as an everyday bloke who happens to be a top-level boxer; while Haye delights in posting images of himself on Miami yachts, Bellew is more likely to be found watching Everton in his local.
Bellew vs Haye 2 is showing live at all three UK Topgolf venues on 05/05/2018