Mind Games in MMA & Boxing – The Negative Effects – Boxing

Mind Games in MMA & Boxing – The Negative Effects – Boxing

By Aidan O’Connor

In this second part we look at the negative effects of trying to use mind games to your advantage, this will be spread across 2 more articles to ensure we add all the pros and cons so that we can give an unbiased conclusion, these will be spread as 1 for Boxing and 1 for MMA.

When it comes to trying to get into your opponents and straight up trash talking there are a few names that come to mind: Prince Naseem Hamed, Floyd Mayweather, Tyson Fury.. the list goes on. But one fighter who learned the hard way in this game is David Haye. One of the best fighters in British boxing history has gone through many opponents and cemented himself as one of the best cruiserweights to step inside the ring.

When it came to Tony Bellew however he fell short in more ways than one.

The build-up to this fight was like nothing, as a fan, I had ever witnessed. The hatred between the 2 fighters was clear to see. Bellew, being the confident and cocky fighter that he is clearly got under Haye’s skin in many instances. The press conferences before the first bout were a thing of beauty.

Both fighters letting the other know just how insignificant they were. Bellew stating numerous times how Haye was past it and Haye quite simply repeatedly telling Bellew that he was out of his depth. When the pair faced off at the end of the press conference in London, Tony Bellew pushed Haye away from him, Haye then delivered a left hook to the jaw of Tony Bellew.

The tension boiled over in the Liverpool press conference, the fans were clearly extremely vocal throughout, not much like a press conference more like a school playground heckling abuse at Haye which caused him to snap. Calling the fans, a ‘Bunch of retards’ and telling Tony Bellew that he was going to put him in a coma and make sure he wakes up in the hospital.

Tony Bellew however did not let any of this get to him. As he has proved in the past, he is fantastic under pressure and it actually fuels his performances. This was shown during the fight when he went in at a 3/1 underdog and stood his ground from the opening bell onwards. Taking shots but delivering them also.


Many people feel Haye would’ve won the fight if not for the injury, and they may have some grounds for that. However, Bellew accepted the rematch and showed David Haye exactly why he was the better fighter with an absolute masterclass winning the fight by KO after numerous knock downs. Soon after David Haye retired and is now, quite surprisingly, coaching Derrick Chisora.


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