David Haye says Tony Bellew in bother if he calls press conference clash a punch
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 15/02/17 4:55pm
David Haye has dismissed Tony Bellew's complaint he was punched during the pair's head-to-head in London on Wednesday.
The first press conference to promote March 4's Sky Sports Box Office heavyweight event was predictably explosive as the two fighters exchanged insults in front of the assembled media.
Bellew afterwards accused Haye of throwing a left hook, but his opponent claimed he was just defending himself and warned Bellew would feel the true power of his punches come fight night.
"If he thinks that's a punch, he's got another thing coming," Haye told Sky Sports News HQ. "All I remember is he pushed me and I pushed him back.
"It's unnecessary. I never initiate things unless I feel threatened. I didn't really feel threatened today, but once he put his hands on me I sort of struck back a little bit.
"I was aware he might try something and wanted to make sure I didn't damage him. All it takes is one shot from me and he's got a broken jaw, the fight's called off. I was never going to do anything too dramatic.
All it takes is one shot from me and he's got a broken jaw, the fight's called off. I was never going to do anything too dramatic
David Haye on Tony Bellew
"I felt he was going to try something so you're on guard, but even if he'd hit me with a big shot on my chin nothing would have happened. I'm just a better human specimen than he is."
Haye famously clashed with Dereck Chisora at a 2012 press conference, but the former two-weight world champion insisted he has learned his lesson and wants "more security" to keep him away from Bellew when the promotional responsibilities ramp up in the New Year.
Haye maintains he is in for a short night's work against Bellew, who is trained by Dave Coldwell, a former associate of Haye's one-time trainer Adam Booth.
Coldwell was no more than "a bucket boy wringing out a few sweaty T-shirts", according to Haye, who said: "I never rated him as a coach and don't think he's going to be able to add anything to Bellew's game."
Haye is so confident he is already thinking about revisiting a fight with Shannon Briggs after claiming their initial meeting was scuppered by the American veteran.
"He wanted pay-per-view and claimed they could get the WBA title on the line," Haye said. "They fell through with that, and he wasn't willing to fight in a non-title fight on terrestrial television."
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