David Haye injury: Is he taking the rematch with Tony Bellew too soon?Written by Joseph Herron
On December 17, former two-division world champion David Haye will attempt to avenge his most recent loss against former WBC Cruiserweight titlist Tony Bellew, at the O2 Arena in London, England.
The rematch arrives just 10 months after "Pretty Ricky Conlan" had his own Rocky Balboa moment and defied the odds, stopping the overwhelming betting favorite in the 11th stanza of the scheduled twelve round contest.
The shocking upset and decisive Bellew victory was an apparent product of Haye's torn Achilles tendon, which he ostensibly injured in the early portion of the match. Because the Hayemaker couldn't plant his right foot to generate his customary brand of power, and also wasn't able to use the entire ring to avoid Bellew's incoming fire, David inevitably succumbed to the pressure and assault of the seemingly motivated and inspired Liverpool native.
Given the now 36 year old's highly publicized history of injuries, is the former WBA Heavyweight titlist taking the rematch and making his comeback a bit too soon?
Sky Sports expert analyst and former prizefighter Johnny Nelson believe he is.
"I will be surprised, like most people when it gets closer to the fight, if there are no injuries reported in camp," the WBO former Cruiserweight champion recently stated to FightHype. "I think David Haye has come back too early from his injury."
"I believe he wants it...his heart wants it...his soul wants it. He needs to hope his body holds up, because he needs this fight. He needs to prove himself. If he loses this fight, where's he going to go?"
"This is a chapter he needs to close."
According to the latest arthroscopic and sports medicine studies, it takes the average professional athlete with a successful reconnective surgery, along with proper rehabilitation and heath care, between five and six months to begin training and performing at an appropriately high level.
But because each case study is different, considering variables of age, wellness and history of injury, will Haye be 100% effective on December 17, against a very motivated and confident Tony Bellew? Will fight fans get to see the Hayemaker of old, or merely an old, broken version of the customarily hard-punching former champ?
Not only does the always outspoken fighter/promoter believe he'll be at his best on fight night, Haye is truly convinced he'll score a dramatic and "emphatic" KO victory in two months.
"Just a win really isn't enough," the Hayemaker stated after the pre-fight press conference on October 9. "I want to make a statement with this one. I still believe I'm the best out there. So if that's the case, I really need to do a number on Tony Bellew."
In order to move forward in his perpetually fluctuating fight career, Haye does need a decisive and dramatic victory if he wants to remain relevant in this version of boxing's once heralded glamour division...especially if the proud Briton hopes to score a lucrative event opposite current champion Anthony Joshua next year.
Although David is currently a 3 to 1 betting favorite on most Race and Sports Books, the hard working pugilist understands that his opponent won't be a pushover.
"I know he's going to be in great shape and he has a lot of heart," said the former lineal and unified Cruiserweight champion. "He proved a lot of doubters wrong in winning the first fight, and he agreed to quickly take the rematch for a reason."
"But like I said before, he got away robbing the bank and he won't rob the bank twice. He won't get away two times."
He will if Haye is only operating with one "good wheel" throughout the rematch.
Because David's power is solely dependent on planting and driving off of the balls of both feet, he absolutely needs to be healthy against a very determined Tony Bellew. And because Haye likes to use his footwork as the foundation of his defense, fully functioning legs are paramount for his success.
Without his exceptional footwork and power, David Haye is a mere shell of himself and an average fighter at best.
Hopefully fight fans will witness this ongoing drama come to its natural conclusion in just two months time.