Bellew vs Haye: Bicep injury forces David Haye out of December rematch with Tony Bellew

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Sky Sports' Adam Smith explains why David Haye has had to pull out of his rematch with Tony Bellew

David Haye has been forced to pull out of the rematch with Tony Bellew after injuring his bicep in a freak accident.

Haye and Bellew were set to renew hostilities again at The O2 in London on December 17 following their roller-coaster first meeting in March won by Bellew, but the two teams will now work towards a new date for the rematch early in 2018, with news on that to come this week.

"I am devastated to announce my much-anticipated rematch against Tony Bellew has been postponed until March 24th or May 5th 2018, subject to scheduling," said Haye.

"Despite the recent injury rumours, I was in perfect condition with an incredibly strong training camp, currently weighing lighter than I have for more than five years, I couldn't wait to get back in the ring. I was ready to rewrite the ending of the Haye Bellew saga.

"Unfortunately, after a freak accident during a stair conditioning session, which I've done hundreds of times before, I lost my footing, slipped and instinctively grabbed the bannister to stop myself falling down the stairwell and in doing so managed to damage my bicep.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  David Haye looks on from the ring prior to his Heavyweight contest against Tony Bellew at The O2 Arena on March 4, 2017 in Lon
Image: Haye has damaged a bicep which has forced the fight to be postponed

"This afternoon I underwent a procedure to repair it, this was pretty straightforward and my doctor and physiotherapist have no doubt that not only will I make a full recovery but will be able to be back in the gym to start my arm rehabilitation in two weeks.

Tony Bellew, David Haye
Image: Bellew beat Haye in their first meeting back in March

"I would like to apologise to Tony, and everyone at Team Bellew, as well as all our fans who have been left disappointed. I've been solely focussed on this fight and it's extremely frustrating that I couldn't finish 2017 with just my ring performance doing the talking. I look forward to getting back to training and into the ring in early 2018 with excitement and determination."

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Tony Bellew during the Bellew v Haye II press conference at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Image: Bellew will now have to wait until 2018 to face Haye again

"I'm gutted that the rematch with David has been postponed, both for myself but more for the fans," said Bellew. "I've had a tough camp with a lot going on in my life but was ready to repeat my win from March.

"I'll get over this disappointment over Christmas with my family and will be straight back into camp for a new date, it's a big disappointment but as always I leave my career in the hands of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who will get me back in there ASAP."

Fans who bought tickets for the event should visit their point of purchase for a refund or exchange for any new date for the fight.

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