Dave Thompson/Getty Images
March 1, 2017
David Haye is fully fit to take on fellow Briton Tony Bellew on Saturday at London’s O2 Arena despite reports he has an Achilles injury, according to fight promoter Eddie Hearn.
According to The Sun‘s Pat Sheehan and Toby Gannon, the fight has been thrown into doubt after Haye took a trip to Munich to visit Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt—who treated the heavyweight for his previous shoulder injury—to address an Achilles problem.
However, Hearn, the co-promoter for Saturday’s eagerly awaited clash, has said Haye, 36, is ready to take Bellew on and could not afford the hit to his reputation that a withdrawal would cause, per Press Association Sport (h/t TalkSport):
If he didn’t fight he couldn’t step in a British ring again. The public workouts are on Wednesday evening. If he wasn’t fighting I’d know. He will be at the workouts and he will be in the ring on Saturday.
I’d heard about an Achilles [problem] a few weeks back but he was playing football on [Sky Sports show] Soccer AM at the weekend. If you’re that worried about an Achilles injury you’re not playing football, are you? It’s known he sometimes goes to Munich for treatment. That’s where he had surgery on his shoulder.
Haye has withdrawn from fights before, twice for bouts with Tyson Fury, and once he cited a back injury as he withdrew from a clash against Wladimir Klitschko.
He also used a broken toe as an excuse for losing to Klitschko back in 2011, per Jamie Jackson in The Guardian.
The former WBA heavyweight champion is on a comeback after not fighting at all between July 2012 and Jan. 2016, partly due to his shoulder problems.
He has beaten Australia’s Mark de Mori and Swiss fighter Arnold Gjergjaj by knockout in the last 14 months and is favourite to beat 34-year-old Bellew.
The buildup to the O2 Arena clash has been spiky to say the least, with the two fighters exchanging jibes in the pre-fight press conference, per betting company Coral (Warning: NSFW Language):
Well the Haye vs. Bellew press conference got a bit out of hand 😳 https://t.co/GWT8koaC9V
2/27/2017, 8:46:04 PM
Given the hype surrounding the all-British clash, it would be a huge disappointment for fight fans were Haye to pull out, but it seems he is ready for action despite the Achilles reports.