Tony Bellew and David Haye set up huge fight for 2017

The British boxers will battle in a heavyweight bout

Tony Bellew, David Haye, boxing

Tony Bellew has a heated exchange with David Haye after victory over BJ Flores for the WBC World cruiserweight title at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. Picture by Peter Byrne PA Wire/PA Images

World cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew is to step up to heavyweight to fight David Haye.

The two will meet at London's O2 Arena on March the 4th next year.

For ex-heavyweight champion Haye, he hopes to silence the current WBC Cruiserweight champion Bellew.

"The country is fed up of his constant yapping. Even in his home town of Liverpool, I would be stopped in the street by people begging me to spectacularly send him into retirement," he told Sky Sports.

"Bellew is completely delusional if he thinks he can beat me. He still thinks he's on the set of Creed and there will be some kind of Rocky-style happy ending. But come March 4 at The O2 in London I will bring reality crashing down on him.

"I've earned my credentials the hard way inside the ring, not on film sets. There will be no second takes, no stunt men taking the blows and no flashing lights on the red carpet. The only lights Bellew will see are those of the spot lights shining down on him when he wakes up from his nap on the canvas."

The possibility of a fight had first emerged when he defender his cruiserweight belt against BJ Flores.

Haye was ringside and Bellew made sure to deliver a public message to his face after the fight. 

In his post match interview, the Liverpudlian focused on Haye, challenging him to a fight, in front of a raucous Liverpool crowd. Haye was also chastised by Bellew for the quality of opponent he has faced in his return to the sport this year.

"Listen, you predicted BJ was going to beat me, didn't you? You predicted he was going to beat me. He got smashed. And you're going to get smashed too. I don't care how dangerous you think you are"

"You know what, with 10oz gloves on boy, I'll put you and that pathetic haircut to sleep."

"Listen SpongeBob Squarepants, I'll deal with you in a boxing ring. I don't fear you. You've got this big aura around yourself, I don't care."

"It's a fight both men want. Let's hope it happens sooner, rather than later."