This was built as one of the most exciting British fights in recent years, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The lights went out, and the O2 Arena irrupted with excitement as the theme from Z-Cars blasted out for the entrance of Liverpudlian Tony Bellew, who strolled out with great confidence to the ring before dancing in the ring to David Haye’s classic entrance Ain’t No Stopping Us Now. Haye meanwhile looked more focused than his usual laid back style before a fight. Feeling the nerves?
Most expected either an early knockout victory for Haye, or for it to go the distance and Bellew claim the victory. And that was certainly in Haye’s mind, as he charged at Bellew from the opening bell, swinging Haymakers wildly at Bellew hoping to land that big knockout punch early on and missing.
The first round proved to be quite a slow start to the fight as neither fighter wanted to get into range of their opponent. Haye was the aggressor in the first round, looking to unpin the Liverpudlian Cruiserweight Champion. But it was bellew who took the first round, after cleanly getting his shots in on Haye and avoiding the overloading shots coming in from the Londoner.
The second and third rounds took quite a similar stance. Haye moving forward and trying to make things happen, whilst Bellew looked to keep Haye on the outside and to avoid those heavy hands flying his way.
Haye convincingly took the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds as his shots began to hit their desired target. The pair traded blows in the 4th and 5th, but the former Heavyweight World Champion came out on top by rocking Bellew in the 4th round with a powerful combination.
Still Haye hunted his prey, throwing wildly again in the 5th with Bellew doing his best to get out of the way. Both fighters went down in the 5th, but neither were classed as legal knockdowns.
So the fight was taking shape, Bellew avoiding a knockdown in the early rounds, and now we were moving into Bellews territory.
And then it happened…
Midway through the 6th round, Haye’s right leg seemed to give on him and he lost all steadiness on his feet. Bellew capitalised and looked to finish the fight, wading in with combinations on Haye, whilst the Londoner was all over the place.
Haye, evidentially went down twice in the 6th mainly due to the pressure from Bellew and the fact that he simply could not walk or hold himself up. He managed to get to the bell, at which point he stated to his corner that it was his Achilles injury.
The same injury he joked about prior to the fight, many questioned him on this as The Sun Newspaper announced this injury 2 days before the fight. In which he denied, and it seemed like it was all part of the games, but seemingly this was not the case as his corner strapped his ankle with tape before the next round.
Haye stood in his corner for the entirety of the 7th round, as bellew unloaded on the former Champion who looked a beaten man. He survived and continued to survive the next few rounds as he even seemed to get used to the injury as he began to walk after Bellew once again.
But unfortunately for Haye, he couldn’t lead off his right leg meaning that his punches lacked any power at all. Bellew continued to pressure Haye, before Haye succumbed to to him in the 11th round.
Bellew got Haye up against the ropes and Haye couldn’t cope with the shots flying in and went down and through the ropes onto the outside of the ring. Haye beat the count and got himself back into the ring, by which point his corner threw in the towel as they had seen enough destruction.
Bellew had won this contest, something that nobody felt that he could do. Everybody doubted him, with the general feeling of Haye being the natural heavyweight and the likely victor. It was truly a defining moment in Bellew’s career.
However, it would have been a shock had he not won. Haye physically could not walk after he ruptured his achilles in the 6th making it easy for Bellew to hound his opponent and land the shots, as Haye was helpless to Bellew’s left hook.
But whilst Haye was still in the fight he was still a danger to Bellew, as he only needed to land one power punch and that would have been all she wrote. But it was not meant to be for Haye, as Bellew claimed a famous victory and as he stated ‘secure his families future’.
What next for the two fighters?
Bellew could certainly go onto fight a current Heavyweight Champion in Joseph Parker. I think that Bellew would struggle against Wilder, however that would definitely be a big pay day for the Liverpudlian.
Haye, was a sorry sight for many fans for the final 5 rounds of the bout. He looked a shadow of his former self, and with this injury to add to his other past injuries it is hard to see where he goes from here apart from the exit door. It is a great shame that this was the case for this fight, I was quite looking forward to a Haye vs Joshua fight, and the old David Haye would certainly have tested his fellow Londoner.