David Haye promises to do as much damage as 'legally allowed' to Tony Bellew

Mark Critchley
David Haye has been reproached for his unsavoury pre-fight threats: Getty

David Haye has once more warned of the damage he plans to do when he meets Tony Bellew in the ring, despite the recent criticism of his unsavoury pre-fight threats.

The 36-year-old heavyweight has courted controversy in the build-up to Saturday night’s bout at London’s O2 Arena and could yet be sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control for threatening to ‘hospitalise’ Bellew.

Haye has also refused to apologise for labelling members of the public "f****** r******" at a pre-fight press conference in Liverpool, Bellew’s home city.

During Thursday’s final pre-fight briefing, Haye predicted a “violent knock-out” and reminded those present that he is “legally allowed” to inflict as much pain as possible on his rival.

“On Saturday night you will see a real destruction job. Knocking him down for 10 seconds does nothing for me,” Haye said.

“I'm predicting a quick knock-out, a showreel knockout, a violent knock-out... He's got under my skin, he's chased me for a year-and-a-half, really made things personal. I'll make sure he never, ever, ever does that again.”

“I'm legally allowed to do as much damage to him as I can inflict. He's in for a long, long world of hurt,” he added. “Enjoy your last couple of days. This is going to feel so good.”

Haye subsequently suggested that reports claiming he had suffered an Achilles injury were not only false, but had also emanated from his own camp.

Bellew, who is stepping up from the cruiserweight division, believes Haye will use such an injury as an excuse for defeat.

“They've been put out there to the media: there's reasons why you've heard of injuries and stuff like that. We all get sore, we all get knocks and bumps: it's boxing. I don't want to hear any excuses at all.

“You are not a big heavyweight: you will show that on the scales. You're a big cruiserweight. You live in a fairytale world. He thinks he's bleeding John McClane (of the Die Hard films), this clown.”