Bellew vs Haye 2: David Haye now respects the threat posed by Tony Bellew in rematch, says Eddie Hearn
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 05/05/18 10:29pm
David Haye still has the same ego, but now recognises he is facing a "real fight" in the rematch with Tony Bellew, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Haye suffered a shock stoppage defeat last March and has admitted his career is at stake in the second fight against Bellew on Saturday night at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
There has been no repeat of the Londoner's brash predictions in the build-up, even after repeated taunts from Bellew, and Hearn believes the 37-year-old has been forced to respect the threat posed by his British rival.
This time around, he's completely changing. He knows he's got a real fight and he knows his career is on the line.
"Of course the ego remains," Hearn told Sky Sports. "The ego will always remain with David Haye, even though he's been humbled. He's definitely been humbled.
"What he showed in the last fight was a tremendous amount of heart. There is no quit in him, so you have to respect the man, but he's been humbled by losing to Tony Bellew.
"He thought there was absolutely no chance in the world. I went down to the arena at 3pm, he was in there doing a Facebook Live, joking about. I was thinking, blimey, he's confident.
"This time around, he's completely changing. He knows he's got a real fight and he knows his career is on the line."
Hearn has backed his fighter Bellew to pull off a repeat victory when they return to the same venue, but admits the Merseysider must be wary of a more disciplined opponent.
"You should expect a guy who knows he can lose, and his career is on the line," said Hearn. "He's not going to be reckless. He's going to try and be clinical and Tony's got to be sharp to that."