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02nd Mar 2017

David Haye and Tony Bellew engage in weirdly intense staredown as grudge match draws closer

Some say they're still staring at each other.

Darragh Murphy

Well this got weird.

There’s not long to go now until the opening bell of one of the most animosity-filled grudge matches in British boxing history.

The trash talk will do no good to either man on Saturday, when David Haye and Tony Bellew finally get their hands on each other in the O2 Arena.

The build-up to the fight, Bellew’s first at heavyweight, has been littered with moments that have made the bout close to unmissable, including Haye’s “fucking retards” comment at their Liverpool press conference and suggestions that ‘The Hayemaker’ may face sanctions from the British Boxing Board of Control after threatening to “hospitalise” Bellew.

Considering the fact that a punch was thrown last year when the pair came face-to-face, measures have been taken to ensure that no repeat of such pre-fight violence takes place.

Rather than go nose-to-nose as is commonplace in most face-offs, Haye and Bellew were told to keep six feet between each other after a press conference on Thursday.

Two security guards were ready to pounce if either man inched towards the other but that didn’t happen.

Instead, they stared intently into each other’s eyes with each refusing to bat an eyelid or look away so as not to give off a sense of fear.

It perhaps lasted a little bit too long and the eerie silence that accompanied the staredown did nothing to quell the weirdness.

We just can’t wait to see how the weigh-in staredown goes down.