Dillian Whyte slams Tony Bellew as 'a heavyweight who hides'

Dillian Whyte has questioned Tony Bellew's desire to face bona fide heavyweights. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

London heavyweight Dillian Whyte has slammed domestic rival Tony Bellew over the Liverpudlian's refusal to meet him instead of David Haye.

Former world champion Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) was forced to withdraw from a scheduled rematch with Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) on Dec. 17 because of injury and Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) has been frustrated in his attempts to step in at late notice.

Whyte told ESPN: "You can't say you're a heavyweight but you don't want to fight any of the top 10 heavyweights. Bellew doesn't want to fight Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder or any of the others. He only wants to fight Haye because he knows he's injured.

"The first fight was only good because Haye had one leg!

"He's had a 15-week training camp and I agreed to step in at two or three weeks' notice to save the boxing fans millions of pounds. People have booked hotels and flights. I was going to save everything but he didn't want it.

"Bellew doesn't want to fight a real heavyweight. He's going to wait around for Haye. David is finished. He'll spend four or five months waiting for Haye and that'll be it. Haye will get injured again.

"Any natural heavyweight would knock Bellew out. He's a cruiserweight. He knows that so he doesn't want to take the chance, get injured. He wants to fight Haye because Haye is old and tired. Haye's body will keep letting him down. Haye can't do a training camp."

While Whyte has seemingly given up hope of securing a lucrative clash with 'Bomber' Bellew, the Brixton fighter is already looking forward to fighting a big name in February.

Whyte added: "I've given up on Bellew. Clearly he says he doesn't want it. They're saying he has a reschedule clause with Haye but it's nonsense. He could've made a lot of money.

"I'm fighting at The O2 on the February 3 and names like Lucas Browne, Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker are who I'm looking for."