David Haye has vowed to end Tony Bellew’s career when the pair meet in a heavyweight clash at The O2 on Saturday night.
After weeks of tense build-up, the pair faced off at a heated press conference in Liverpool on Monday during which Haye (28-2-26KO) received a raucous welcome from the largely pro-Bellew crowd in attendance.
That reception served to further heighten a growing sense of irritation in Haye and he has vowed to take his frustrations out on WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew (28-2-1-18KO) this weekend.
"Yeah, of course he has got under my skin," Haye told Sky Sports News HQ. "I would not have taken the fight if he did not get under my skin.
"The fact that he chased me around and the fact that he jumped out of the ring after the BJ Flores fight and tried to attack me – that is stuff people don't normally do to me.
"It has definitely generated the interest and got the fight here but I don't know what he is going to do to survive the first couple of rounds.
"I am hoping and praying he does so it is a good fight for the fans, but I don't know what he can do. Maybe tuck up really tight and hope I don't knock him out or hope I get tired of beating him up, but all it takes is one of my shots around the side of his head and it is good night."
Haye is keen to insert himself back in the heavyweight title picture by defeating Bellew in emphatic fashion.
IBF champion Anthony Joshua faces the sternest test of his career when he defends his belt against Wladimir Klitschko on April 29.
Haye wants to position himself for a shot at the winner and he intends to silence Bellew in the process.
Haye said: "The heavyweight division will be looking at this interest even though Tony Bellew is not a bonafide heavyweight. But I am and they want to see how I fare against the WBC cruiserweight champion of the world.
"I don't want to be struggling here. I don't want to have a nip-and-tuck fight where it is quite even.
"I need to go out there and do a complete and utter destruction job on Tony Bellew. I want to make sure that is it – it's over for him and that he is never fighting again.
"I don't want him to come back and start defending his titles. He has disrespected me too much for that. I need to finish his career in one fight and I will do it. I don't need many punches. I need three or four punches in a combination to finish him."