We’ve seen it all over the years with David Haye – fences, glass bottles and even tripods. Throw a fiery Tony Bellew into the mix, and today’s press conference was always going to be explosive. In spite of the brawl that followed between the pair, a previously-unseen rivalry emerged that wasn’t actually between the two men stepping into the ring.
Haye and Eddie Hearn exchanged words over what appeared to a power battle, and as you can read HERE, the 36-year-old absolutely slaughtered the Matchroom promoter when talking to BNTV earlier today. Hearn has also had his say on the co-promotion which takes place on March 4, however, and as expected, he didn’t hold back.
“The thing with David Haye is, he’s a control freak,” Hearn said. “The fact he was going to Tony Bellew during the negotiations, and trying to say to him “Leave Eddie out of it” says it all. It’s only because Tony’s the man he is, that he would say “No no. If you want to fight me, speak to Eddie”. Then he goes to Sky and says “I want to box on Sky”, and again, he was told “You speak to Eddie Hearn”. He hates that – that kills him! He likes to be in control, and he’s not in control. They told us we had to sit down first today before they walked out. The answer is no. Do they think we’re mugs?”
Don’t be fooled by the WBO, WBA routes – he just wants the biggest payday available, and that’s why he wants the Joshua fight.
“I know this was the biggest fight out there for David Haye. Don’t be fooled by the WBO, WBA routes – he just wants the biggest payday available, and that’s why he wants the Joshua fight. He’s got to beat Tony Bellew to get Anthony Joshua, and if I was him, I’d just worry about that.”
The back-and-forth didn’t halt there, with Hearn claiming he would have significant say on other fights featuring on the bill. Former two-weight world champion Haye has faced criticism since his ring return – not just for the calibre of his two opponents, but for the weak undercards that have preceded them. Who can we expect to feature? No names have been set in stone just yet, with over four months until fight night, but Hearn made one thing clear – it won’t be Humpty Dumpty in an eight-rounder…
“His whole promotion’s been shit, because he’s a shit promoter. That’s why I’m doing it, because I know how to promote shows. He’s lucky I’m doing it, and the fans are lucky I’m doing it. Otherwise, it’d be Sid Snot against Humpty Dumpty in an eight-rounder as chief support. There’s going to be some quality control and it’ll be a good night.
“There’s not going to be gaps in the show for hours while some rap artist that nobody’s ever heard of is on with a couple of birds holding pom-poms. We want three or four championship fights, and we’ve got enough budget to make a good solid card. If it was down to them, there’d be no undercard!”
Hearn also revealed that Matchroom will be making more signings in the next couple of weeks, though names were not mentioned. Rumours are rife that amateur stars Lawrence Okolie and Joshua Buatsi may be joining the stable, with a few already-existing Matchroom fighters also expected to join pastures new in the near future. As for this fight, Haye-Bellew will be live exclusively Sky Sports Box Office on March 4, with an undercard announcement expected after the turn of the year.