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28th Apr 2017

There was no way that Tony Bellew wasn’t going to clash with Deontay Wilder this weekend


Darragh Murphy

Sky Sports’ producers knew what they were doing.

In this modern world where tension translates directly to viewing figures, it’s no coincidence that Tony Bellew, David Haye and Deontay Wilder were booked as analysts for Saturday night’s event in Wembley.

Not content with the fireworks expected in the ring when Anthony Joshua takes on Wladimir Klitschko in the main event, Sky Sports drafted in three of the loudest mouths in the heavyweight division to offer their takes on the evening’s events.

You’re presumably already well aware of the animosity that exists between Bellew and Haye from the lengthy and vicious war of words which ended in the ring last month when Liverpool’s Bellew downed his fellow Brit late in the fight.

After Bellew’s victory, and recent insistence on continuing at heavyweight, he’s been repeatedly linked with a match-up opposite WBC heavyweight champion Wilder.

“Eddie (Hearn) has had talks regarding Deontay Wilder,” Bellew told Sky Sports last week. “We have spoken with Joseph Parker’s people and Tyson Fury’s representatives have been in touch with my people.

“It seems like I am the most hunted man on the planet at the moment.”

And with Bellew and Wilder working in such close quarters this weekend, an altercation of some sort was to be expected.

We got just that after the weigh-ins on Friday afternoon, when an IFL TV interview with ‘Bomber’ was interrupted by shouts from Wilder and his team.

Separated by a steel divide, Wilder and Bellew went back and forth on the subject of the latter’s ability to withstand the power of elite heavyweights.

The Liverpudlian insisted that Haye possesses more power than ‘The Bronze Bomber’, an assertion that Wilder predictably rejected.

“I’m no boy, I’m a grown arse man!” Bellew roared before members of both fighter’s entourages got involved in the argument.

We can expect a lot more where this came from on Saturday night, when Haye will also be thrown into the fray.