Tony Bellew insists the experience of winning his world title in his home city at Goodison Park has left him free of pressure when he fights David Haye.

The 34-year-old fights for the first time at heavyweight on Saturday night when he meets his bitter rival at London's 02 Arena.

He remains the significant underdog, but despite Haye making severe threats towards him and attempting to unsettle him amid speculation he had suffered an injury, the Evertonian is adamant he is entirely relaxed.

Bellew fulfilled a life ambition last May when he won the WBC cruiserweight title against Congo's Ilunga Makabu at Everton's Goodison Park. He did so in front of a 15,000-strong passionate home following, and given it was his third world-title fight after two previous defeats may have been his last chance of becoming a world champion.

There is also a significant contrast to Saturday's fight against Haye, who is involved in his first competitive fight for nearly five years and whose career could be ended by defeat.

"It's not even a 10th of the scale of Goodison Park, the nerves, the pressure," Bellew said.

"There's no pressure on me at all. Everybody just expects me to get blown away.

"The thing with Goodison Park, is everyone was turning up to see different, and that brought so much

pressure, and gave me so many nerves, and made me so anxious.
"I just don't feel the pressure like I did that night. I feel really relaxed, calm, secure."

Much of the build-up to Saturday's fight has been dominated by threats from Haye, who most recently told Bellew to "enjoy his last days".

There is a risk of such talk affecting Bellew's family, but even on such a high-profile occasion he is still trying to hide his profession from his two youngest children.

"My four-year-old thinks I'm a runner who punches people," he said. "When he sees me on TV, he says 'Dad is that you?' and I say 'No, lad, it's my brother'. But he's on it.

"My eight-year-old has an idea but my 11-year-old is switched on. He knows.

"They will never see the fight. Kids shouldn't be watching boxing. Bad things happen in boxing rings. This is why you don't need a clown like him glamorising that.

"What kind of man glamorises sending a man to hospital?"

Their fight represents the 36-year-old Haye's third since his comeback began in January 2016, and third since Shane McGuigan became his trainer.

McGuigan experienced his first defeat as a trainer in November when his fighter Conrad Cummings lost to Ronny Mittag, and in January was criticised for his tactics and instructions when Carl Frampton lost to Leo Santa Cruz.

However Haye said: "I've seen why people did criticise at certain stages. But the general public don't know Carl like Shane does.

"Shane needs to speak to his fighter in a way he'll understand, and the layman on the street might not understand instructions. If Shane believes he's won a round or lost a round he may say the opposite, to get the best out of Carl.

"It doesn't make Shane a worse coach because one referee believed he lost. Shane's been around long enough to understand that.

"Although it was a long unbeaten run that was never going to last forever, particularly when you move into world-class fights, when there's nothing in it."