Tony Bellew, a huge underdog, defeated former world heavyweight title holder David Haye in dramatic fashion at the O2 Arena in London last night. Bellew would have been down on the judges' scorecards against the relatively slow Haye until Haye's injury in the sixth round.
Before the fight, Bellew was quoted as saying he wouldn't stay at heavyweight after fighting Haye because he wasn't big enough.
On the verge of exhaustion, he persisted bravely until the 11th round, when Bellew hit him down to the floor and the 36-year-old practically fell out of the ring. I've never been in a fight like that before. "I knew I just had to keep on taking all he was throwing as he would eventually tire and fade". "I'm just a little scally (roguish) kid from Liverpool who's been in a "Rocky" movie, has won the world (cruiserweight) title and now lives in a seven-bedroom house".
Haye's focus now is a rematch with Bellew, rather than talking himself into a shot at one of the world champions.
"In my eyes I've beaten the best cruiserweight this country has ever produced and one of the best heavyweights", Bellew told Radio 5 live.
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In the aftermath of his victory, Bellew challenged reigning WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder with promoter Eddie Hearn revealing he had already received a phone call from the American about a proposed bout.
Roughly a month before the match, Bellew predicted an upset win, tweeting, "Believe me when I say I've been written off my whole career!" But come March 4th at The 02 in London I will bring reality crashing down on him. Why can't he beat Wilder or Parker?
Bellew took some big shots early and made a jumpy Haye miss a lot, but Haye did settle down and seemed to have some rhythm before the leg injury, which changed the fight and perhaps the way many feel about Haye and his perceived lack of guts. It's scary. No matter how hard or painful it gets, I can't stop. The only danger to me in this game is me - I'm a danger to myself.
Even when thrashed through the ropes at the end, Haye clambered back and was willing to continue, though he was maybe quietly grateful for the white towel that had fluttered into the ring from his corner.
"I've got what I wanted in winning the fight but now I know what comes with it". He later posted a tribute message to Haye and wished him a speedy recovery.