Bellew - just two years younger than Haye at 35 but whose boxing, fitness and prospects are on a decidedly more upward curve - played the ideal waiting game to dismantle the former world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion on Saturday night.
In last night's sequel to their thrilling first encounter, Tony Bellew managed to put his rivalry with David Haye to bed as he knocked out his opponent in brutal fashion in round-five. After coming through an early examination of his patience, he felled Haye twice in the third round and again in the fifth with a flawless left hook, ecstatic when the referee rescued his dazed foe on the ropes, physically upright but spiritually bowed. Left defenseless on the ropes and taking a ton of additional punishment, referee Howard John Foster stopped the fight.
Joshua who is a friend to Tony Bellew was at the 02 Arena and immediately after the match congratulated Bellew but when asked about what the future has for Haye, he quickly responded " it's definitely not over yet" for the former double category champion. Although, I do think that Bellew is a fighter who will get better with age! I am a walking Super Series.
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"We got up close and I banged him up", said Bellew. "I need a megastar".
'I'll have to review the tapes, I was bettered tonight, ' Haye said.
"I have been through a lot but I don't want to hurt anyone".
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Bellew mostly targeting the body of Haye, who was shooting the jab and looking for an opening to the head. It came in the first round but fizzled out by the third. Then, Bellew scored two monstrous knockdowns. Haye darted in with a reckless right hand that missed, tried following that up with a left hook, but was met with a curling left hand of Bellew's own. Haye went down face-first and struggled to get up. David Haye, the man who not so long ago was tasked with rescuing the heavyweight division, reeling, unsteady on his feet, being told he had had enough, on the end of yet another defeat.
Bellew called it and he called right again. Luckily for Haye, the bell saved him as his senses looked scrambled.
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.
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