Tony Bellew stops hobbling David Haye in extraordinary boxing upset

Posted March 06, 2017

Not many believed him when he said he would stop Haye, a fearsome heavyweight puncher with 26 knockouts on his record, in his first fight in the division. "I believe he can".

"This is quite simply a must-see fight", said Adam Smith, Sky Sports' Head of Boxing Two of the biggest personalities and punchers in world boxing will collide in a cracking confrontation which has everything. Going into this fight I 100 per cent know that he does not want it as much as me and he is not going to be as fearless as me.

"It's not like they were asking me to play the role of a doctor or surgeon, but to play the role of myself", he said.

Haye, the former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, is the favourite, but Bellew is relishing the opportunity to cut him down to size. I think Hearn is just throwing their names out there without him being serious about wanting to make those fights.

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The 34-year-old Bellew had moved up from cruiserweight to face Haye, whose previous fight was last May against Swiss Arnold Gjergjaj.

Hearn can use the win over Haye as justification for matching Bellew against Joshua, Wilder or Parker.

Whatever he decides to do next, it has to be agreed how Tony Bellew, the fighter all of British boxing is talking about right now, has had some great career. Parker fights Hughie Fury, Tyson's cousin, on May 6th, for the WBO belt, and the victor will be in a position to fight the WBC champion, Deontay Wilder. Certainly, a fully functioning Haye would still have to answer questions about his stamina down the stretch but, as Bellew's trainer David Coldwell, who once worked with Haye, conceded in a quiet moment: "We knew he would be unsafe all the way to the end, even on one leg". If Hearn puts Bellew back in with a healthy Haye after his Achilles injury is healed and 100%, then the chances are very high that he'll lose that fight. Not many gave the Liverpool-born fighter much of a hope against the bigger Haye, but he surprised everyone by winning in the 11th round. "He shrugged and I said, "please, stop", then looked at Shane [McGuigan, Haye's coach] and said, "stop it, lad". I could walk away tomorrow happily, but I know Eddie Hearn's going to make me some wonderful offer I can't walk away from". "That's the only thing I have got to say to Dillian Whyte".

Obviously, there are other options available to him at cruiserweight but they all seem highly unlikely at this stage. I hate cameras, I hate fame, but he loves all that.