"I hate it" - Tony Bellew talks disliking fame and how acting in Creed changed his life

Boxer also talks about taking on the man he brands a "clown", David Haye

Tony Bellew, boxing

Image: Peter Byrne PA Wire/PA Images

WBC cruiserweight title Tony Bellew says the main motivation in taking on David Haye is to test himself.

On Saturday, the much anticipated all-British bout was confirmed to be taking place next March.

"I've had to give into every single diva-ish demand that this clown has wanted... 'I want to walk into the ring second, I want to be announced on the poster first, I want this, I want that'...so I said 'listen, all I care about is if you want to fight and that's it,'" he said on Off The Ball.

"This guy is just the biggest diva you'll ever meet. He's the Mariah Carey of boxing. He's unbelievable."

But he admits that Haye is the "most dangerous", active heavyweight fighter who hasn't got a title.

"David is a guy who is a huge draw and nobody wants to face him in the heavyweight division. They're all cowering away from him. The one guy who does want to face him is Shannon Briggs and let's be honest, Shannon Briggs is famous for getting hidings off Lennox Lewis and Vitaly Klitschko," he said.

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

"I want to face [Haye] because he's probably known as the best cruiserweight this country has ever seen and rightly so. He was the last unified champion, he's a former heavyweight champion of the world. He's the quickest and most dangerous heavyweight in the world and I just want to test myself and see how good I am."

Bellew also feels he can make the step up to heavyweight in the future and feels Haye is a "blown up cruiserweight" rather than a heavyweight.

In terms of the verbal side of the sport, he quipped that a lot of what he says is off-the-cuff.

"It just comes naturally. I open my mouth and nonsense comes out," he said.

"So I don't plan it, I don't practice it. I've never thought of anything to say before a presser, after a fight or before a fight. I just speak what's on my mind and sometimes that gets me in trouble and sometimes it doesn't."

And he also added that he doesn't have much time for the fame game.

"Being famous is a hindrance. I hate it. I hate being known. I wish I could fight in an empty stadium and no-one knows who I am and what I do. But for someone like David, he loves the fame. So he's kept himself in shape because he's very vain," said Bellew.  

He experienced some of that when he acted in the movie Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone. But did he expect the avalanche of fame that followed?

"I didn't think it would. That's just me being stupid and naive. Once that movie dropped it just changed everything for me. It really did. From profile to people knowing who I am and where I'm going... and I used to enjoy going on holiday and having a mess around with the lads, going to the US - I love the US - and then director's saying to me 'listen, you come here and you're going to be known as well as you're in the UK because the movie was such a hit'".