Tony Bellew says he will ruin David Haye’s chances of fighting Anthony Joshua when the pair meet on March 4, 2017.
It is believed by some that the winner of the fight between Bellew and Haye will be in line to fight Joshua next summer.
It’s ambitious thinking from both Haye and Bellew.
Joshua fights with Eric Molina on Saturday. Should he win that bout, he’s expected to lock horns with Wladimir Klitschko on April 29.
If Joshua beats Klitschko, a summer encounter with Haye or Bellew would surely be a step backwards for the 27-year-old?
Anyway, one thing is certain. Whoever is the loser between Haye and Bellew will definitely NOT get a look at Joshua anytime soon.
And Bellew does not see himself losing. Quite the opposite in fact.
Speaking ahead of Joshua’s fight on Saturday, where Haye will be ringside as an analyst for the Sky Sports Box Office team, Bellew said he was adamant he would be the man to deny Haye any shot at Joshua.
"David Haye is wasting his time watching Joshua because he's not going to get the chance to fight him if I've got anything to do with it, and I will have plenty to do with it," Bellew said this week.
"If anyone is going to get to Joshua out of the two of us, it's me, and I am not even a heavyweight, I'm a cruiserweight.
"If Haye wants to try and do that, he's got to come through me on the fourth of March and I am going to knock him out. He hasn't had a live opponent for five years.
“There might be one thing he benefits from being ringside on Saturday: he will realise he's just out of touch with boxing. He's out of touch with the sport and the whole business because he clearly thinks it's a pantomime.
"It's not. It is a serious business and not one I am playing with, yet I feel that's exactly what he's doing.
"It will be 12 weeks from Saturday and we will see who the man is. Make no mistake, once I knock him out, I will be the man to beat."
Bellew then spared a few moments to wax lyrical about Joshua.
In a refreshing turn of events, that we do not see often amongst the verbal mud-slinging that characterises combat sports these days, Bellew praised Joshua for what he is doing for boxing.
"For me, he [Joshua] is the most exciting heavyweight in the world," Bellew continued.
"He's actually the face of the heavyweight division right now, which is good. He's doing some great things for the sport and I really do think he's doing fantastically.
"I am an Anthony Joshua fan, to a certain extent, he's brilliant at what he's doing, he's a top level fighter and he's a brilliant competitor. I am enjoying watch him.
"He is a brilliant role model for the sport, for all the kids looking up to him and I have to profess I can't say that and David Haye certainly can't say that."