David Haye v Tony Bellew: Hayemaker calls for physical separation ahead of O2 Arena fight

Haye and Bellew are separated
A November news conferences featuring the two fighters descended into chaos

David Haye has called for a physical barrier to be placed between him and heavyweight rival Tony Bellew before their London fight on 4 March.

The pair have traded insults before the O2 Arena bout and will be face-to-face at media commitments next week.

"There needs to be protection, a human being isn't enough," said Haye, 36. "Whatever it is, glass or whatever."

At a November news conference, Haye threw a punch at Bellew, who publicly called his opponent out in October.

Haye's attempted punch came almost five years after he brawled with Dereck Chisora at a news conference, and six years after Bellew, 34, had to be separated from Nathan Cleverly at another.

David Haye swings a punch at Tony Bellew
Haye (left) threw a left hand at Bellew after the latter shoved him during a head-to-head

At another media gathering, Haye - who has conducted much of his training in Miami - repeatedly argued with Bellew's promoter Eddie Hearn.external-link

"When tensions are high and when guys are scared they do crazy things," added former WBA heavyweight champion Haye.

"I'm going to make sure he is not in striking distance. I'd love to have confidence that he will keep his hands to himself but I don't have any confidence in him, in his mental state. Hopefully there will be some sort of precautions put in place."

During his in-ring verbal attack on Haye after victory over American BJ Flores in October, Bellew mocked his rival's hairstyle and ridiculed the two opponents Haye has faced since returning to the sport in 2016 after over three years out of the ring.

Bellew, the WBC world champion at cruiserweight, will campaign at heavyweight for the first time, completing a two-division jump after competing at light-heavyweight as recently as 2013.

He holds a record of 28 wins and a draw from 31 fights, with Haye boasting the same number of wins from 30 contests.

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