On May 5 two of British boxing’s most familiar fighters in Tony “The Bomber” Bellew (28-2-1, 19 KOs) and David “Hayemaker” Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) will face off for the second time in London’s O2 Arena in a rematch that almost guarantees fireworks. Read on for some expert insight into the Bellew vs. Haye II odds.
The first fight saw Liverpudlian Bellew - in his first fight at heavyweight - shock the boxing world by overcoming the heavily favoured Haye by technical knockout.
Despite the victory, Bellew comes into the rematch as an underdog, but “The Bomber” has promised to once again rip up the script and demonstrate the heart, grit and willpower to overcome the ever-confident Haye. With so many intriguing factors and potential scenarios, how should bettors approach Bellew vs. Haye II?
Bellew vs Haye live odds
Tale of the tape
What did the first fight teach us?
David Haye has acknowledged that he underestimated and misjudged the threat that Tony Bellew brought to the ring in their first fight, and has vowed that he won't be making the same mistake twice.
The first meeting between the pair concluded with the former heavyweight world champion, Haye, suffering a humiliating defeat as Bellew stopped the Londoner in the 11th round after Haye was evidently hindered by a ruptured Achilles from the midway point of the fight. Haye has since confessed that he came into the bout with the wrong frame of mind and boxed below par as a result.
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When analysing the first fight, Haye showed us that he is not the David Haye of old. His footspeed looked to have almost gone, he looked extremely wild, delivering disordered and miscalculated single punches with limited combinations and Bellew managed to take advantage of this at every opportunity as the fight progressed.
The bout wasn’t fought at a frantic pace which suited Bellew and the game plan he adopted of surviving the early rounds, allowing Haye to tire and get frustrated, before becoming more offensively minded as the battle progressed into the later rounds.
Haye has never been an offensive juggernaut despite some chilling knockouts, the 37-year-old is primarily a counter puncher. He likes fighters who come on to him so he can potshot and throw counter punches – analysing “The Haymaker’s” career and reel of knockout victories will teach bettors this.
Bellew, at 35 is a veteran. He knows how to survive and how to negate a fight and nullify a fighter’s strengths. Some bettors in the first fight would have bet on Haye with blind faith that he would be the same David Haye of yesteryear – which turned out not to be the case.
“The Bomber” came into the fight off the back of being extremely active against quality opposition whilst Haye had been largely inactive for five years and looked fundamentally a shopworn fighter.
How significant is Haye’s injury?
Haye suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the 11th round defeat to Bellew and the rematch was originally set for December 17, this time Haye pulling out with a left bicep injury.
Haye is no stranger to injury. The Londoner has previously pulled out of fights against Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury. And even before embarking on his professional boxing journey, Haye withdrew from the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester after his opening fight with a bicep injury.
The 37-year-old, who turned professional in 2002 has previous history with other boxers also, pulling out of his fight with domestic rival Mark Hobson back in July 2005 with a hamstring, whilst Manuel Charr, the Lebanese-born Syrian-German was the next victim on the Haye injury list due to a hand injury in May 2013 – and now needing an operation on his injured Achilles before signing to fight Bellew in this rematch.
Haye claims to be in tip-top condition as he aims for revenge on May 5, stating his training regime has changed under new trainer Ismael Salas to account for previous injury misfortune in the first fight. Listening to Haye and whole-heartedly believing him are two different factors bettors should consider.
However, bettors shouldn’t forget that Haye was ahead on the scorecards first time around until the injury occurred and providing Haye is telling the truth it should provide the former world heavyweight champion with the edge, even with his current deficiencies as a fighter.
Bellew vs Haye II: The weight
For the rematch it is almost certain that Haye will come in lighter and is an aspect of the fight bettors should certainly take note of.
The rematch represents Haye’s first contest under the supervision of new trainer Ismael Salas, who has previously worked with world level fighters such as Jorge Linares, and Guillermo Rigondeaux and the former WBA champion will now have acknowledged himself that at the bigger weight, he's far too slow and lethargic to operate at world level.
His Achilles injury in the first fight taught us that Haye’s body could not take the extra weight which will in turn mean he will need to strip himself down in mass to not place so much density on the injury he sustained.
Haye’s speed and punching force were not as effective in the first fight, with many expecting his advantage in size to benefit him against Bellew, especially between rounds one-to-six. His bulk actually became detrimental to his performance once the fight went past six rounds and the naturally lighter Bellew benefited primarily from being the endurance athlete in the fight.
The 37-year-old was lightning fast at cruiserweight, albeit in his younger years, but the lighter the Bermondsey fighter comes in increases the likelihood of going the full 12 rounds at a good pace.
Bellew vs. Haye II: What can bettors expect?
One thing bettors will agree on is a prime David Haye beats Tony Bellew – most likely by knockout. However, David Haye’s prime is long gone with his best years behind him. Haye today is 37 years-old and highly injury prone, so bettors know what David Haye they will get on May 5. The danger for Bellew is that David Haye now knows this also – Haye knows he is not the fighter he used to be.
Haye is a fighter who feeds off the ambience of large crowds to bring out the explosiveness in his performances. But he now knows that in the first fight, he took everything Bellew said to heart and all he wanted to do was knock the Liverpudlian out. Knowing Bellew’s strengths and weaknesses means “The Haymaker” is exceedingly likely to box a much more conservative fight – largely to protect himself from injury and reserve stamina.
So, can the current version of David Haye formulate a game plan to beat Tony Bellew? Haye has the longer reach and better (longer) jab, he will want to win in spectacular fashion but will be fully aware of Bellew’s strengths. The Londoner will be unsure where he is at as a fighter entering the ring despite bringing top-level sparring into camp which turns the probability that fight goes long rather than short despite what the odds suggest.
Haye can punch hard and land power punches on the front and back foot – see the fight against the respected John Ruiz where Haye had the American down four times before the fight was stopped in the ninth round.
The reach is vastly different between the pair – Haye (198cm) Bellew (188cm) and providing Haye enters the ring focused and not hell-bent on knocking Bellew out, bettors should expect Haye to come out low volume and far more measured to avoid gassing mid fight or sustain another injury – an approach that will allow value in a distance fight where Haye edges the best part of the rounds.
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