The Big Question: Bellew vs Haye 2 - who wins?

Boxing Monthly
04/05/2018 3:40pm

On Saturday night, Tony Bellew and David Haye go at it again in a rematch of last year's dramatic heavyweight clash. The BM online team are here with their predictions...

It all depends on whether or not David Haye is fit. If he is fit, he will beat Bellew. If not, it will be #repeat. However, I even see Bellew giving a fully fit Haye a few problems. It won't be a complete walk over. I surprisingly see it going 12 rounds. Overall prediction - Haye to win on points. - Haroon Ahmed

Bellew. I picked Haye the last time but I didn't expect him to come out swinging like he'd been out on a bender. While I expect a more refined Haye this time I believe Bellew has his number stylistically and mentally. The first few rounds will remain the danger but Bellew proved he could take Haye's best in the first fight, pre-injury. Once again I believe Bellew absorbs Haye's arsenal early on and will again make him miss and make him pay, leading to a stoppage late on. Bellew to end this rivalry once and for all in round ten. - Shaun Brown

I was always a Haye fan from early on in his pro career. His gutsy win over French tank Jean-Marc Mormeck convinced me he had what it takes to be a real force in the sport. But that was over a decade ago. It might've been the nostalgia talking, but I thought Haye would defeat Bellew in the first fight. Injury aside, I got the sense that even a fully-fit Haye would struggle to keep up with the pressure Bellew was applying, particularly with only two-and-a-half rounds under his belt in the previous five years. I expect Bellew to go on with the job this time around, picking up where he left off to give the 37-year-old Hayemaker an increasingly one-sided hiding as the rounds progress. Bellew TKO9. - Anthony Cocks

I picked Haye the first time out as I presumed his size and power would see him through. But even prior to his grotesque mid-fight injury, he looked a shell of the fighter who unified the cruiserweight division and won a portion of the heavyweight crown.
I'm not sure how he can regain that given his age and injury record. The Liverpudlian is perennially underestimated (including by me), yet everything points to Bellew evading Haye's wild 'Hail Mary' shots, picking his shots and stopping Haye midway into the fight  - James Oddy

Prior to the first contest, like most I expected Haye to be too fast and hit too hard for Bellew and predicted he would win in five rounds. What I didn’t predict was just how rusty Haye would look, especially in the first two rounds where he wildly swung at Bellew like it was his first time boxing. Although after that I thought Haye settled down and was outboxing Bellew at the time of the injury, it was clear to see that Haye was a spent force. This time around the bigger questions are around Haye’s body and whether it can hold up to a long distance fight. My guess is that it can’t and the prediction is that injury will strike again and Bellew will win another TKO win to finally end the Hayemaker’s career. - Callum Rudge

When the first contest was announced I scoffed at it, and picked Haye to win inside the halfway point. Even before the injury occurred I was amazed at how bad Haye looked, how easily Bellew was dealing with the contest, and how realistic it was that an upset was suddenly on the cards. A year's inactivity will have done neither any favours, but I think it will hurt Haye more and I wonder if this is his final contest. I expect Bellew to win again, with a stoppage again as we enter the final third of the contest. - Colin Harris

I think Haye learns from the mistakes of the first fight, firstly by coming in lighter and then by going back to his boxing, as opposed to trying to take Bellew’s head off with every shot he throws. He plays it safe to a close but comfortable decision and we all convince ourselves that the Hayemaker is back and ready for the bigtime again. - Luke Byron

Ahead of the first fight, most picked David Haye. Some even perceived it to be a mismatch. While Haye looked a long way removed from his prime, he was still winning the contest, prior to injuring his Achilles’ tendon/exacerbating a pre-existing injury (delete as applicable). Bellew would always have expected to be behind on the cards at that point in the fight, he had said that he would come on strong and force a late stoppage, which is indeed what happened. However, had the injury not occurred, we do not know how the fight would have played out. Bellew had shown in the early rounds that he was not out of his depth or overawed by Haye’s power, but the injury was the defining moment of the contest. I suspect that Haye underestimated Bellew last March. I don’t think he’ll make the same mistake twice. If - it’s a big IF - the Hayemaker's body doesn’t break down again, I can see Haye winning by late stoppage in a competitive fight. - John Angus MacDonald

Prior to the first fight I was of the opinion that pitting a proven and far more experienced cruiser/heavy with tremendous punching power against a light-heavy who failed in his only meaningful world title tilt (against Stevenson) was a mismatch.' A good big one will always beat a good small one', or so we've always been told. I think Bellew was very smart in taking the fight and as transpired he was right to see it as a springboard for his stagnating career. Interestingly, both men have had a similar number of fights and there's only a two-year age gap, although you can't read too much into that. I just think that Bellew has Haye's number so I can see another stoppage win for the 'Bomber' inside the first six rounds and the Bermondsey man finally drawing the curtain on a career that you could never accuse of being anything but colourful. - Luca Rosi

As a card-carrying Evertonian, analysing Bellew vs Haye II dispassionately doesn’t exactly come naturally. A number of BM online colleagues have rightly pointed out though that it’s clear David Haye isn’t really David Haye any more. In light of a shoulder injury which severely restricted his vaunted ‘Hayemaker’ right arm movement way back in November 2013, Haye was advised by doctors to retire and hasn’t done anything since then to suggest he’s fit to enter a ring at this level in anything but a promotional guise. It may be a stretch, but I saw parallels to the first fight during the George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr match in February, when the winner - ironically once a Haye protege - prepared himself for a championship boxing match while his opponent looked aesthetically superb, but simply wasn’t adequately prepared for battle. Bellew isn’t fashionable, but he is a grafter and will be ready to fight once again on the night. I was lucky enough to interview ‘Bomber’ a few days after the first match with the scouser still firmly in ‘war’ mode, anger towards Haye’s pre-fight antics still crackling in his voice. I expect this fight to follow a similar pattern to the first one, with Haye’s mind willing but body unable to execute movements which thrilled us a decade ago. Bellew by late TKO is my pick, with the 2-1 odds available on ‘#repeat’ as I write this looking very tempting indeed. - Chris Williamson

I think Haye can even the score. In the first fight, we saw the much-diminished Bermondsey playboy unimpressively outpointing a surprisingly resilient and effective Bellew until the freak injury (which Haye may have been carrying into the fight). Though fragile (he's had more sicknotes than Darren Anderton) I'm guessing Haye's body hangs together sufficiently for him to laboriously outscore Bellew over 12 pedestrian rounds. Last time, Haye didn't seem able to throw his right hand "Hayemaker correctly (after undergoing shoulder surgery) while Bellew struggled to put away a sitting duck. While anything can happen at heavyweight, that leads me to believe this is a distance fight, with the harder punching of Haye edging things his way - just. It would set up a rubber match for them – a result which will both suit and compensate everyone in equal measure. - Andrew Harrison

I'm a big admirer of David Haye but the ravages of time, multiple injuries and ring rust wait for no man. Aside from Dereck Chisora in 2012, you can argue Haye hasn't won a meaningful fight since his tussle with John Ruiz in April 2010 (the Audley Harrison contest doesn't count), back when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister and Barack Obama's presidency was just over a year old . For me, Haye's only chance is to get Bellew out early or outpoint him in a slow-paced fight. I think neither of these scenarios will play out though - instead I foresee a Haye injury of some sort helping Bellew force a similar stoppage to last time. - Luke G. Williams

Final count: Bellew 8 Haye 4