In a grudge rematch, former cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) scored a crushing fifth round KO over former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (28-4, 26 KOs) on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.
Haye, 37, said before the fight that he needed a spectacular win to prolong his career, and it seems unlikely that the former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion will continue beyond this.
The achilles injury that Haye suffered in the first fight appeared to cause him problems once again, particular after Bellew felled him in the third round.
Haye was forced to pull out of fights against Manuel Charr and Tyson Fury due to injury and underwent shoulder reconstruction surgery in November 2013 that had prompted his first retirement.
"I have all the respect in the world for him but he has never faced a fighter who can match him up close, fighting on the inside". I'm a walking super-series.
I'll have to review the tapes and see exactly what went wrong, but Tony Bellew boxed a fantastic fight. "I need a megastar".
The last fight with David Haye was good but this was a step up.
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So I've got to get up every morning and do everything I possibly can to get back to that ultimate goal of getting back to No. 1. Tiger Woods and Uihlein both started their round at 2 over, and both found better fortune with the scoring conditions.
"I'd be happy if he turned around and said, "I'm retiring", but the only problem is he's getting better". You will all laugh and say I wouldn't have a chance, but I would knock Andre Ward out.
Since losing to Bellew past year, Haye has had operations to mend his Achilles and biceps.
Haye insisted that he was in better condition for this fight, and Bellew expected an early onslaught.
The third round saw Haye continuing to lead with the jab with Bellew starting to avoid more and more of them and targeting the body of Haye himself with his own lead left. Bellew then suddenly went on the offensive and chased Haye across the ring before landing a right flush on the jaw to drop the Londoner for a count. Haye landed a few shots with the right hand which resulted in Bellew shrugging his shoulders in response in a sign of confidence.
Bellew called it and he called right again. Haye slid down the ropes to the canvas, and when he got up, he was on spaghetti legs. The bell saved Haye from further punishment that round and he tried to regroup in the fourth.
In 2017, It took Tony Bellew 11 rounds to stop David Haye in their original clash at Goodison Park 14 months ago, but the fight was over as a contest by the third round after twice flooring his rival.