Johnny Nelson trained alongside David Haye, just days before his latest injury setback, and the Sky Sports expert is hopeful the rematch with Tony Bellew can still happen.
I was in David Haye’s gym last week and I was impressed on every level. Physically he looked the part, was down in weight, and I thought ‘this is going to be a good fight’.
How David spoke, he was very honest. He said: “I looked at that fight with Tony Bellew, and I did not recognise me.” David even said that if he didn’t beat Tony and look his usual self, then he would pack it in. Physically and mentally, he seemed in a good place.
Tony Bellew is considering options after Haye's injury forced him out of rematch
His Achilles was in tip-top shape, I was surprised. We were doing stuff, and I was scared of snapping my own Achilles. He had a movement expert – I think Conor McGregor has got one – and we were doing things to keep him supple on every level. He actually showed me some things that I’m going to start doing. It was hard, it was testing, and that’s why he thought it was going to be a hell of a fight. He was fit to the core.
David will be as disappointed as everyone else that this fight has not come off. He needs this to turn the public’s opinion around, because they are saying ‘you’ve done it again, David’. Realistically where else does he go? He either packs it in, or puts this Bellew situation to bed. I don’t think he wants to pack it in yet. I think the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is far too big to ignore.
Staying positive, I hope David gets himself back into position, I hope this fight comes off. I think now realistically I can see the fight happening. I couldn’t see it happening before Christmas, because I thought Haye’s Achilles injury was far too severe. Last week, this week, and the week after would have been the hardest period. This was when injuries were going to occur and that’s exactly what happened. I think the postponement gives David’s body more time to totally heal.
Promoter Eddie Hearn says Haye was 'distraught' when he broke news of injury
I don’t know how bad the injury is on his bicep, he had an operation on Monday, but I do know it’s benefited him more than Tony Bellew.