Wow! Tonight at a sold-out O2 in the heart of London, British boxing witnessed one hell of an amazing, even crazy fight. The result: Bellew TKO 11 Haye, doesn’t come anywhere near close to telling the full story.
Haye, who suffered a terrible injury to his right ankle (or Achilles; we must await a full explanation) in the 6th round, was basically a one-legged fighter from the 6th on – yet he refused to quit! Bellew blazed away, scoring a knockdown, the end seemingly not far away, but instead Haye gutted it up like never before in his career and the two went to war in incredible fashion.
The action was almost unreal in rounds 6 through 11, with both men throwing bombs. Haye, though, was almost a pathetic sight, trying as he was to fight with just one fully functioning leg. Bellew was looking very tired by the 8th, having expended so much in trying to get the finish everyone thought was his. But somehow the battle raged on!
In the 11th, with Haye having tried absolutely everything to take Bellew out – even swinging so hard he fell over, completely off balance – “Bomber” sent Haye through the ropes. Again showing incredible guts, Haye beat the count but was soon saved be the towel of his corner.
The two had respect for each other and embraced after the war, and already there is talk of a rematch. But how long will Haye’s injury take to heal?
But tonight’s fight ended up being one that no-one could have, ever, predicted. Had Haye not suffered the injury, who knows? But Haye, showing as much class as he did heart, said post-fight that Bellew beat him, “fair and square.”
We may have seen Bellew score the biggest, most shocking win of his entire career tonight. We may also have seen the end of Haye’s exciting, controversial, up and down career.
Rematch? Maybe, but not for at least eight months.
Bellew is now 29-2-1(19). Haye is now 28-3(26).