Bellew brands Haye a 'disgrace' and bad for boxing

Updated: 

Tony Bellew has labelled David Haye a "disgrace" seven days before their domestic clash in London.

The two have been involved in ferocious verbal back-and-forth ahead of their eagerly awaited bout at the O2 Arena next weekend.

At a news conference in November, the bad blood spilled over during an intense stare-off with Haye aiming a punch at Bellew.

It is not the first time that Haye has been embroiled in controversy having brawled with Dereck Chisora while he also wore a t-shirt depicting the Klitschko brothers Wladimir and Vitali with severed heads.

And Bellew believes that Haye promotes a bad image for boxing.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "He's a disgrace. It's not the way we want our sport to be perceived. We're not in the dark ages.

"I'm trying to give it a good image. I'm not the best one to do it, because I've done some stupid things. I only speak the truth. He's just an idiot, he doesn't think before he speaks.

"I've got no malice or real nastiness in me to say these vicious, horrible things.

"He carries the sport in a bad way. I'm not saying I'm a saint by any stretch of the imagination, because I'm not, but I'm nowhere near this clown's level. He is just a disgrace to boxing."

As if to prove Bellew's point, Haye made several unsavoury remarks in a television appearance on Saturday morning about what he intended to do to the Merseysider when they got in the ring.

Haye said on Soccer AM: "I've never had a fight where I've wanted to cave someone's skull in like this ever. Normally you want to knock someone out but I really want to do some damage to this guy. 

"And I'm getting paid for it as well. I'm getting paid to beat the dude up. What a great world we live in. 

"We live in a world where we can beat the hell out of a really annoying person."