Tony Bellew stuns David Haye with 11th-round stoppage

By Daily Sports on March 5, 2017

Views: 823

 WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew produced a stunning upset to stop bitter rival David Haye in a thrilling heavyweight contest at London’s O2 Arena.

The Liverpudlian, 34, pounced when Haye suffered what turned out to be an Achilles injury in the sixth round to score a knockdown.

Haye, who had his right ankle strapped, carried on as bravely as he could for the rest of the fight, but was unable to move freely as Bellew seized the momentum.

And in the 11th, a second knockdown saw former heavyweight champion Haye tangled in the ropes, the towel enter from his corner and his hopes of a return to the world-title level of the sport left in tatters.

Bellew – a big underdog with bookmakers – raced to trainer Dave Coldwell in celebration as he scored a victory which will likely filter through to non-boxing fans far more than his 2016 world-title win at Goodison Park did.

And the bitter war of words leading up to the fight ended with Bellew helping a limping and exhausted Haye back to his corner.

The two embraced and the beaten, humbled Haye asked for a rematch during a lengthy post-fight interview before heading off to hospital to have surgery.

How the fight played out

The first round had those in the O2 Arena intrigued. A hate-fuelled slug-fest or artistic boxing?

The latter won the day, with Bellew happy to see Haye jump in while he fired off solid replies in-between darting out of trouble.

And so established a pattern, Haye taking the centre of the ring, Bellew nearer the ropes.

As the established heavyweight stalked his man, often they stood statuesque for moments as Bellew looked for Haye's trigger - his own prompt to counter.

But slipping shots can be a dangerous game and a straight right to Bellew’s jaw in the fifth was audible ringside, though nothing could be heard in the sixth as the Arena screamed at the drama.

Both men went down – Haye twice – though neither faced a count as their falls to the canvas were deemed slips but the sheer punch volume from Bellew then legally felled Haye, who looked stunned and shattered in answering a nine count.

Bellew, who stressed his rival would start tiring after four rounds, had his wish, dominating, boxing at his own pace, jabbing when he wanted to slow down and engaging more violently when the chance arose.

Haye’s low blow in the ninth summed up his increasing desperation and, two rounds later, his brave resistance was ended moments after a barrage of punches sent him sprawling through the ropes.

Having clambered back into the ring, finally his camp threw in the towel, signalling the third defeat of a 31-fight career.

Excerpted from a BBC report. Photo shows David Haye on canvass, being punished by Tony Bellew.

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 5, 2017

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