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Haye, Bellew trade verbal blows before heavyweight boxing clash

(Reuters) - Former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and Saturday's opponent Tony Bellew traded verbal insults but thankfully no punches as they warmed up for their much-hyped contest.

The pair entered their pre-fight news conference from different corridors at a Liverpool hotel and had burly minders separating them as they engaged in some heated trash-talk.

Haye, 36, has fought twice since returning from a three-year absence while WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew, from Liverpool, has moved up two weights to take on the Londoner.

"Deep in all of your tiny minds you know this guy is getting drilled to the canvas pretty fast," a rattled Haye said as the crowd heckled and drowned him out with chants.

There is clearly no love lost between the two fighters and at a previous news conference Haye threw a punch at Bellew.

Bellew, 34, described Haye as a "broken man".

"I am going in with a man who was absolutely fantastic. When he was in his prime, an immense athlete - but the tank is very, very low and it does not last very long." he said.

"When the gas runs out, the big fat Scouser is going to steam through him."

The heavyweight fight takes place at London's O2 Arena.

Bellew has a record of 28 wins and a draw from 31 fights while Haye, who lost a heavyweight unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko in 2011, has 28 wins from 30 contests.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris)