Tony Bellew stopped David Haye in the 11th round to cause a major upset at the O2 Arena after Haye had suffered an ankle injury in the sixth
Well that lived up to the hype and then some. David Haye hobbles away backstage and now faces a decision over where he goes next. Tony Bellew meanwhile has put himself in a position to take another big fight. He finishes saying: “I’ve got one more big night in me.” Thanks for reading, I’ll leave you with our fight report:
Related: Tony Bellew stops hobbling David Haye in extraordinary boxing upset
David Haye refused to blame his injury, for which he deserves some credit. He showed plenty of guts to keep going in a fight he had almost no chance of winning from that moment on.
What a sensational win for Tony Bellew. Most said he wouldn’t last more than a few rounds, but he was well in this fight even before Haye’s injury the sixth round. He very respectfully ‘calls out’ Anthony Joshua for his next fight, who grins and gives a thumbs up.
David Haye and Tony Bellew are arm in arm, telling the crowd how much they respect each other and would like to fight again at Goodison Park.
Our fight report:
Related: Tony Bellew stops hobbling David Haye in extraordinary boxing upset
Bellew speaks: “I’ve secured my kids’ future. That’s all I care about, I don’t give a shit about winning.” Charming. He pays tribute to Haye, his new best pal.
Haye was crouched against the ropes as Bellew landed a left hand to the top of the head which finally put the 36-year-old down. The victor shakes off his promoter and trainer to embrace his opponent.
Round 11: Haye manages to land a right hand and remind the crowd that he is still dangerous, but a moment later he throws himself through a high left jab, misses, and falls to the floor. He gets to his feet but seconds later Bellew finally hits Haye down to the canvas! He falls out of the ring and through the ropes, and tries to pull himself to his feet as the referee counts, but can barely get there. As Haye finally stands, his corner throw in the towel!
Round 10: Haye’s trainer tapes up the Londoner’s ankle between rounds, but his fighter looks no sturdier. Bellew is struggling to summon the energy to land a telling knockout blow, and instead looks to keep up the pressure and ensure he wins the round. Haye offers the occasional off-balance hook but they miss and he staggers against the ropes.
Round nine: On commentary, Carl Froch speculates that Haye’s Achilles tendon might have ruptured, a recurrence of a previous injury. Whatever the problem, Haye will go through the rest of this fight effectively on one leg. Bellew is walking, calmly taking the middle of the ring and throwing the occasional jab, until Haye lets fly with a low blow which causes Bellew a grimace. The referee intervenes and ticks off Haye, but he survives another round.
Round eight: Haye looks like he’s had ten pints, tottering around the ring. He grins and throws a couple of punches, but he has got virtually nothing in the tank to hurt his opponent. Bellew’s onslaught in the previous round has left him exhausted, though, and he cannot find the decisive blow. The round ends a little wearily. Somehow Haye is still going.
Round seven: Haye can barely stand. What has happened to him? Bellew fires punch after punch with barely any response from his opponent, who absorbs huge punishment against the ropes. Haye is showing brilliant courage to stay in this fight. Bellew fires left after right after left, but Haye takes the lot. Haye can’t stand let alone fight, but Bellew is starting to get tired. The bell goes and Haye stumbles back to his corner.
Round six: Suddenly they come together and Bellew falls to the floor, but it’s ruled as a push. But in the other corner Haye is in trouble! He’s injured, his left knee has totally gone and he can barely stand. Bellew gets up and comes forward and unleashes a sustained minute of vicious punches searching for the knockout. The crowd erupt, this must be over! Haye falls down, twice, but neither are ruled a knockdown. Haye’s knee is wobbling but Bellew can’t land the telling blow and Haye survives to the bell. Remarkable.
Round five: Haye fires a couple of jabs to the body and Bellew recoils for a moment. Bellew is standing up well but he is struggling to land anything meaningful. Haye crashes a big left hook and Bellew is stuck against the ropes, but manages to relieve the pressure with a couple of counter punches. As the bell goes, Bellew smiles and says something to Haye, who turns his back and walks away.
Round four: Haye launches another reckless attack and falls off-balance, nearly toppling to the floor. It settles into a quiet, tactical period, then Haye suddenly connects with a big right hand and the crowd are on their feet. Bellew quickly backtracks, shuffling away. That hit landed but Bellew takes it. Haye has probably edged things so far but it’s close, and a brilliant watch.
Round three: The third begins more tentatively, both fighters catching their breath and gathering their composure. Haye reaches with the jab but Bellew keeps out of range. He draws Haye forwards once more, then shows his speed dodging another big right hand. Plenty of experts said Bellew would be on the canvas by now. So did Haye.
Round two: Haye immediately lands a right hook to the side of the head – Bellew shrugs and grins. The start has lived up to the enormous billing. Haye begins to take control of the centre of the ring, stepping out towards his lighter opponent near the ropes, but the Londoner can’t land another meaningful blow. Perhaps frustrated, Haye unloads with a wild right hook but Bellew skips aside and hits back with a flurry of his own. A tight round.
Round one: They dance for 20 seconds of unbearable tension until David Haye leaps forward with a wild left jab. Bellew hits back and Haye appears momentarily rocked before finding his composure. They stop and prowl again, then Haye throws himself forward and connects with a hard left jab. The crowd roars but Bellew wears the hit well. It’s a ferocious start, both fighters eyeing an early knockout. The round finishes with a couple of body shots by Bellew, who steps back and throws his hands out confidently before the bell. Exhilarating stuff.
No touch of gloves as the pair stare angrily at each other. Here we go!
Haye is prowling around the ring. Michael Buffer is on the mic.
Paul Ruffley emails: “Haye’s slowness reminds me of the time Benn came out against Eubank (I think) and wasn’t warmed up, stood there staring him out with fist raised. Lost.”
This fight has built against a backdrop of extreme animosity. Some of the more memorable (and clean) lines:
Haye on Bellew: “I’ve never had a fight where I’ve wanted to cave someone’s skull in like this ever. Normally you want to knock someone out but I really want to do some damage to this guy.”
Haye stalks into the O2 Arena surrounded by his entourage, his face a picture of concentration, even anger. Black gown, hood up, he is playing the baddy to a tee. His ringwalk music? Not so intimidating.
The lights dim and David Haye’s face appears on the big screen – to loud boos. This is his home fight, remember. While we wait for Haye, Bellew is dancing in the ring. The guy has rhythm.
Here comes Tony Bellew, in fetching blue gown with Everton badge worn proudly. His ringwalk music? The Everton jingle Z Cars.
Paulie Malignaggi, beaten earlier, has dusted himself down and he’s ringside on commentary: “Everyone wants to be at this fight. I was on the undercard and even I couldn’t get a ticket!”
@LawrenceOstlere Crowd in full voice now after a round of Sweet Caroline #HayeBellew
Nickname The Hayemaker
Weigh-in 16st 1lb
Height 6ft 3in
Record W28 KO26 L2
The undercard is done. Next comes David Haye v Tony Bellew. Oh yes.
The 33-year-old from Liverpool, who was beaten earlier tonight in the O2 Arena by OHara Davies, has called an end to his career. For some pre-fight reading, here is a lovely piece with Matthews by Paul Gibson which is well worth your time:
Related: How Derry Mathews started a disabled boxing class after taking stick on Twitter | Paul Gibson
Katie Taylor speaks! “I thought it was a good performance, the bodywork paid off. She’s a very tough girl so it’s great to get the stoppage in the end. It was great to box in an arena like this. I think I’m ready to box for a world title straight away, but I’ll leave that up to the likes of Eddie [Hearn, her promoter].”
Right on cue, Hearn pokes his head on screen to give Taylor a plug, though her ability in the ring has already said plenty.
Taylor tries to find a defining hit, beginning the fifth with some big solo punches before switching tack, standing firm and unleashing a rapid series of blows, and Gentili goes down! The hardy Italian manages to get back to her feet but the referee intervenes to end the fight. That was ferocious by Katie Taylor.
Monica Gentili continues to take Taylor’s onslaught but her replies are becoming fewer and more weary. The fourth round ends with a fast combination by Taylor by her opponent is unmoved.
Katie Taylor dictates the opening two rounds of the six-round contest, keeping the 39-year-old Gentili on the end of her jab. She hasn’t landed anything too meaningful though, with the Italian sucking up several powerful body shots.
The penultimate fight of the night is Ireland’s super-featherweight Katie Taylor against Monica Gentili from Italy. There is already a huge following behind the cool and measured Taylor in Ireland, an Olympic champion in London with two professional wins to her name so far from two fights.
Anthony Joshua appeared on the big screen standing ringside at the end of that fight and the crowd gave up a hearty cheer. If David Haye has an ideal route mapped out for the career of Hayemaker 2.0, as he calls it, Joshua might be at the end of it.
Eggington retains his WBC International Welterweight Championship. He shares a hug and chat with a smiling Malignaggi. “Ten seconds isn’t enough,” grins the American. “Twenty would be enough, but 10 isn’t enough. For about 15 seconds I couldn’t breathe. It’s a shame because I wanted to win in front these fans. But if I’m not going to win the fight, I’m glad I could play a part in his development.” What a gent.
These two have got everyone in the O2 on their seats, it seems – it’s an absorbing battle. The seventh is a little more even, neither fighter able to gain any great control, and it’s building nicely. Eggington has Malignaggi against the ropes in the eighth, and one huge left hook to the body floors the American! Malignaggi gets to his knees gasping for air but can’t beat the count, and that is a huge step forward in the career of Sam Eggington.
Eggington pins Malignaggi against the ropes for the first time and let’s fly, but the American survives and walks a little uneasily back to his corner at the end of the fifth. The sixth is more scrappy with plenty of holding until out of nowhere Malignaggi catches his opponent and unleashes a torrent of punches. Eggington looks uneasy but the bell comes to his rescue.
Malignaggi has fought some big names – Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner – though the list of those he’s beaten is not so eye-catching. He shows off his quality in the fourth round with some quick jabs before pulling out of range. He seems to have found a way to keep out of Eggington’s long reach, but the Briton probably still has had the edge thus far.
Paulie Malignaggi is up against it here. Sam Eggington is taller, heavier and much younger, and unfortunately for the New Yorker it shows. No huge blows landed in the opening couple of rounds, but Eggington has edged both.
There are two more bouts before the main event: Sam Eggington, the promising 23-year-old from Birmingham, has just started his fight with American veteran Paulie Malignaggi for the WBC International Welterweight Championship, and then comes Ireland’s impressive super-featherweight Katie Taylor, taking on the Italian Monica Gentili.
Sunderland’s Jake Bonallie won his pro debut fight against Craig Glover – his first career defeat – on points.
Hello world! There was a time not so long ago when the idea of Tony Bellew fighting David Haye seemed pretty far-fetched: one was a heavyweight champion of the world while the other held the not so prestigious Commonwealth cruiserweight belt. But since Haye’s initial retirement Bellew has been on the up and last year he claimed the WBC cruiserweight world title, while Haye’s most notable achievement of late has been an admittedly creditable third place in I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
To some this fight is a mismatch but the truth is no one can know which Hayemaker will enter the ring: he has seen only six-and-a-half minutes’ action over the past five years, and has been through career-saving shoulder surgery (though Haye claims his shoulder is now stronger than ever before). The 36-year-old looked in impressive shape at the weigh-in but we will find out an awful lot more come the end of the night.