Boxing Expert & Columnist
Bellew vs Haye II: David Haye did not take Tony Bellew's bait, says Johnny Nelson
Last Updated: 21/02/18 6:57pm
Johnny Nelson paid close attention to the psychological battle between David Haye and Tony Bellew at the press conference, and believes we could see another side to the 'Hayemaker'...
It must have hurt his pride, it must've been burning inside and his ego has taken a hit, but he refused to bite this time. Maybe that's why he now loves Bellew!
David Haye was trying his hardest to keep calm and he pretty much did just that.
Haye knows in that first fight between him and Bellew, he took it to heart and all he wanted to do was knock him out. Well, he now knows what a mistake he made and says he couldn't even recognise himself when he looked back on that - the build-up and the fight.
Why so humble, Haye
Tony Bellew insisted that David Haye's new new approach won't help him gain revenge in the rematch...
Haye was disgusted with it and now he knows he has to learn from it. Today he remained humble, he had to swallow everything from the first fight and even when Tony started to wind him up again, he looked calm. I've got to say he looked calmer than I've ever seen him.
Remember the first press conference when he was right on the edge? Coming up with all sorts of things, highly-charged, ranting and raging. This time, he just did the face-off with Bellew, then just turned around and walked off the stage. He didn't say anything, didn't turn round, he just left.
It is going to be hard for him, though. Has David Haye ever had to be humble, sit there and take it? He didn't against Wladimir Klitschko, he didn't against Tyson Fury.
And while plenty of people will say it is a great act and he is putting on a fantastic mask, I actually think for the first time in his professional career, Haye did that. It must have hurt his pride, it must've been burning inside and his ego has taken a hit, but he refused to bite this time. Maybe that's why he now loves Bellew!
Remember Carl Froch against George Groves? Carl was so emotionally wound up for the first one, he almost got beaten and for the second one he went to a psychologist and then just sat back, watched everything unfold in front of him and didn't get involved.
The one big test for Haye is Bellew. 'Bomber' is the very best out there when it comes to winding people up and touching nerves. Bellew will keep on trying to get him to bite.
Do I believe Haye has changed? Can he not get drawn in by Bellew? In comparison to the first fight, yes, but we will all be watching between now and May 5. It is going to get harder and harder for Haye, Bellew is going to try harder and harder to get under his skin.
There is one problem for Bellew, because winding his opponent up - especially Haye - gets himself riled up. He needs that. He needs that to get him focused.
So if David Haye has, as he said, learnt from the last fight and will stay humble, will Bellew actually become a victim of his own success?
Tony Bellew vs David Haye II is on May 5, live on Sky Sports Box Office.