London’s O2 Arena will host an all-britain non-title heavyweight fight between Tony Bellew and David Haye on March 4.
33-year-old Bellew, who holds the WBC cruiserweight belt taunted the veteran boxer after retaining his title in the match against BJ Flores.
As their fight was announced, Bellew said: “I cop him with my best punch, he’s going to sleep.”
Haye said: “He is completely delusional if he thinks he can beat me.”
The Londoner returned to the ring in January after a three-and-a-half year absence with a knockout win over Mark de Mori, and beat Arnold Gjergjaj in May.
“He hasn’t been in a hard fight for over five years,” said Bellew. “I know that he does not want it as much as me and he is not going to be as brave as me.”
Bellew also took time out of the ring to play a supporting role in Rocky spinoff Creed, before returning in May.
“He still thinks he’s on the set of Creed and there will be some kind of Rocky-style happy ending,” said Haye, who was previously a unified cruiserweight world champion.
“I’ve earned my credentials the hard way – inside the ring, not on film sets. There will be no second takes, no stuntmen taking the blows and no flashing lights on the red carpet. The only lights Bellew will see are those of the spotlights shining down on him when he wakes up from his nap on the canvas.”
Former British light-heavyweight champion Bellew jumped to cruiserweight after failing to win a world title at his first two attempts.
‘The Bomber’, known for his punching power, is aware of the risk he is taking by stepping up further.
“I know what I am up against,” said Bellew. He cops me with his best punch, more than likely I am going to sleep.
“If it comes down to a question of heart and determination, I win hands down. If it comes down to one punch, it’s a 50-50.”