Tony Bellew and David Haye had already said a lot before Saturday’s fight in Liverpool, where Haye watched from ringside as Bellew took out BJ Flores inside of three rounds. After the fight, the real battle began.
Here’s what Bellew told Sky Sports after the fight, and a ringside confrontation with his would-be rival:
"He has been conning the British public since his pathetic comeback. The last two guys you fought are working on nightclub doors, or they're putting the bins out. They were a joke, you are robbing everyone.
"You predicted your mate would beat me. He got smashed and you will get smashed too. You remember what happened when I was an amateur and you were fighting for the British title, David Price and I spanked you in the gym. With ten ounce gloves on, I'll put you and your pathetic haircut to sleep.”
And here’s what Haye had to add:
"He was taking a few big shots in the process, his defence was leaky. Against me, that'd take one shot. I've been a heavyweight for eight or nine years. If he wants to come up, it's an easy night's work. I'll probably knock him out with a jab."
Bellew-Haye has all the makings of a profitable grudge match, and Haye is entirely about profitable, winnable fights. As good as Bellew has looked in his last two, Haye is a different level from Junior Makabu and especially Flores, an opponent whose résumé isn’t really any stronger than the two guys Haye fought this year, dismissed as nobodies.
So will this actually lead to a fight? Or just more talking? Do you expect Bellew-Haye to happen in 2017?