Action Images/Andrew Couldridge
DAVID HAYE has issued another warning about the perils of a fighter moving up in weight to meet a heavy-hitting foe ahead of his fight with Tony Bellew this weekend.
WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew will make his professional heavyweight debut against former-two weight king Haye at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday.
However, Haye pointed to Gennady Golovkin’s stoppage win over Kell Brook last year as an example of what can happen when two different-sized fighters meet.
“Golovkin-Brook, about 13lbs difference and you saw what happened there. One guy naturally fought at one weight the other guy in another,” he said.
“He [Bellew] currently fights at 200lbs and I fight at 225lbs. A 25lb difference, and I’m that Golovkin-type puncher. No matter how good Brook was and how fast Brook was, a good big man beats a good little man. But an exceptional big man beats an average little man, and that’s what you’ll see on Saturday night.”
While there are numerous examples of smaller fighters upsetting bigger ones, and the fact Haye started out as a cruiserweight himself, Bellew will enter the fight as a heavy underdog.
The fight has generated huge interest in the UK and sold out the O2 in record time, with pay-per-view figures set to do very well.
However, Haye doubts that the fight itself will live up to the considerable hype it’s received, and even made contingency plans for the unlikely scenario of Bellew pulling out of the fight.
“He’s done a fantastic job of building this fight up and getting people behind him and believing in my alleged frailties, but it’s not going to end well,” he said.
“As Mike Tyson said, everyone has the best gameplan until they get punched in the face. He’s never been punched in the face by someone who punches like me.
“I might underestimate him. I genuinely hope I am. We assumed he might pull out, so it was in the contract that if he didn’t turn up I can still box on this date in this venue and we’d get a heavyweight in. We thought there might be a chance he’d get injured or something, so I’ve trained for a heavyweight. In the way I’ve trained, I haven’t underestimated him.
“The longer the fight goes, it’s a bonus for me and a bonus for the fans.”