David Haye kept his composure as Tony Bellew and the partisan Liverpool crowd attempted to goad him in a fiery news conference ahead of their rematch Saturday.
When the pair last met in the city of Liverpool -- Bellew's hometown -- in March 2017, Haye lost his cool during a chaotic news conference. As the British duo sat down Monday to launch fight week for a second time, Bellew sought to spark a similar reaction out of his rival; this time, it never came.
"I was expecting more than that," Haye teased the Liverpudlian crowd as he started to talk, lapping up the chorus of abuse and boos that greeted his every word. "[Last time around] I didn't think Tony Bellew had what it took to beat me. He raised his game way more than I have ever seen in any of his previous fights, and I expect exactly the same on Saturday night."
Haye continued to be complimentary towards Bellew, an unusual change of tack considering their history: "Even looking at his face, his eyes, he looks trimmer, he looks fitter, he looks leaner."
However, the jibes quickly came from Bellew: "I know what I can see in yours too, fear," he quickly retorted to rapturous cheers.
Last time out in Liverpool, Haye jokingly told the crowd they should bet "all their money" on their man. Bellew was quick to remind him of this.
"Are you going to tell them all to bet on me again?" Bellew taunted. "They all made a fortune betting on me to knock you out!"
Haye simply ignored the latest taunts. "I know we are both going to be better versions of who we were in the last fight," he said.
"I am going to do what I said I would do last time, and you guys are unfortunately going to see the end of Tony Bellew."
Bellew then took to the podium and piled the pressure on his opponent.
"For the first time in your whole career, you are going to be fighting for your career -- not even injury saves you this time," Bellew said. "You are going to walk to the ring and think 'if this goes wrong, nothing can save me.'"