“There’s a new sheriff in town,” so said the man of the moment, Tony Bellew in last night’s post-fight presser, Bellew having sensationally upset David Haye in one of the most jaw-dropping fights you’ll ever see. And while Bellew can now pick and choose what he wants to do next, fans are wondering if we have seen the last of David Haye.
But two other veterans also suffered stoppage defeats last night in London, and it could be that we saw three careers come to an end inside The O2. Both former two-time champ Paulie Malignaggi was KO’d by a wicked Sam Eggington body shot, and former WBA lightweight champ Derry Mathews was halted inside three one-sided rounds by young upstart (and possible star of the future) Ohara Davies.
It’s possible all three fighters, Haye, Malignaggi and Mathews will fight no more. Certainly, plenty of people feel this should be the case. Haye, who has suffered a number of nasty in juries throughout his long career, has been released from hospital, doctors deciding not to operate on the Achilles injury he picked up in the 6th round of last night’s battle with Bellew. But can Haye ever again get his body in the full working order it needs to be in so as to get through another gruelling weeks-long training camp?
It could be a long road back for the former undisputed cruiserweight king, with plenty of rehabilitation and then, if he does achieve fitness, a hard road back towards becoming a top contender again. Only time will tell if the 36 year-old wants to try and go through such a hard slog.
Mathews, who looked to have nothing left in his fight with Davies, should definitely call it a career. The proud warrior who gave us so many thrilling fights will almost certainly stick with his retirement plans. Mathews can hold his head up high as he looks back on an exciting, memorable career.
Malignaggi showed against Eggington that he still has some skills, plenty of heart and that he has retained the stomach for a fight. But “The Magic Man,” another great fighter who fought the best, knows he will never win the big fights again. A smart guy with a successful position as a commentator, Malignaggi will surely do the wise thing and hang ’em up.
If we did see the last of “The Hayemaker,” of Mathews and of Malignaggi last night, we can only say thanks for the great fights.