Liverpool’s Tony Bellew pulled off what many people are calling the shock of recent times in a British boxing ring at the O2 arena on Saturday night by Defeating David Haye in an entertaining Heavyweight bout. Haye was long odds-on with the bookies and most pundits couldn’t see Bellew going past the first couple of rounds as he took on the bigger man for the first time in his professional career above cruiserweight.
London fighter Haye, who was based in Miami for his training camp made no mistake in claiming that Bellew wouldn’t be able to withstand his power at heavyweight and predicted that he would be ending the fight early on, But Tony had different ideas and also stated his case during the build up asking Haye what he would do if he took the Londoners best shots and walked through them, which Haye dismissed any chance of.
The fight got off to a cagey start with both fighters not too keen to over commit although punches were landed by both men early and it was a good tactical affair. Haye looked to suffer an Achilles injury in the 6th round, whilst it was later emerged Bellew suffered a possible broken hand as early as the 2nd round but both men battled courageously to give the paying fans a fantastic fight.
Bellew tried to capitalise on his opponents injury in the sixth round and was all over him not giving him space to breathe, but by the end of the 7th it looked like the Evertonian could have punched himself out and both men were now looking worse for wear.
The next few round continued with two tired fighters although Bellew was doing a majority of the pressing forward and Haye throwing the odd clusters of big shot combinations trying desperately to knock his man out before Shane Mcguiggan threw in the towel in the 11th round giving Bellew the all important win that he had shown so much desire for throughout the whole build up to the eagerly anticipated grudge match.
Post fight interviews shown a different side to the fighters from that witnessed earlier in the week with opponents quick to congratulate and pay each other compliments. Haye avoided the injury excuse stating “I thought I would knock him out early, but I hit him clean with my best shots. He got up from them but when he hit me I couldn’t”. He then finished by adding “the best man won on the night fair and square”, while Bellew paid compliments to what he called “a great fighter”, and someone he looked upto when he was coming through the ranks.
Its unclear whether there will be a rematch, Bellew has plenty of options if he was to defend his WBC Cruiserweight crown although he has hinted that he could stay at heavyweight to challenge either Joseph Parker or Deyontay Wilder. As for Haye his career path will now depend hugely on which route the bomber takes, he has already stated he would love a rematch to try and turn the tables but knows that the ball is in Bellew’s court.
The undercard also saw KO wins for Irelands Katie Taylor as well as Brits Ohara Davies, Sam Eggington and Heavyweight David Allen who scored his second win inside a week.