With Everton not playing until Sunday this weekend, when they visit White Hart Lane, the attention of Blues fans who also like boxing was drawn to another part of London on Saturday night, where Evertonian and Scouser Tony Bellew took to the ring in a heavyweight showdown with David Haye at the O2 Arena.

In this much-anticipated grudge match, the pair's war of words will transitioned to the main event as Bellew made the step up from cruiserweight in an attempt to take the mouthy Londoner down.

Getting off to a good start in round 1, Bellew had to absorb a response from Haye in the next few rounds but was a match for him until the bout took a twist ibn the sixth as Haye slipped on the canvas and suffered what looked to be a severe ankle tendon injury that restricted his movement from there on.

Dodging Haye's powerful punches, Bellew fought fatigue as the rounds passed, biding his time and picking up points along the way that would likely have secured a decision for him had the fight gone all the way through 12 rounds.

The rabid Bluenose prevailed in the 11th round, however, knocking his down and through the ropes. Haye staggered to his feet again to beat the count but his corner threw the towel in handing Bellew a shock victory.


Reader Comments (98)

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Martin Nicholls
1 Posted 04/03/2017 at 08:46:37
Come on, Bomber!! COYB!
Colin Glassar
2 Posted 04/03/2017 at 09:17:35
Bellew to win in 3.
Dave Abrahams
3 Posted 04/03/2017 at 09:32:09
A lot of fights are won outside the ring, Bellew seems to get Haye going, upsets him a lot just by talking, a little thing I know but little things add up – especially in boxing.

If this fight was four or five years ago, I would have to say Haye, but he has hardly fought in those five years so Bellew has a good chance the longer the fight goes.

I want Tony to win, not because he is a Blue but because he is the boxer tonight who has a heart and bottle and will not give in without a real go. I'm not sure Haye has the heart for a real fight; when fighting for the 'Richest Prize in Sport' against the Ukrainian, he never threw a punch and blamed a sore toe for his defeat: pathetic excuse.

Against Tony is the fact he always gets caught... and Haye can punch. Come on, Tony, shut him up for good, because if Haye loses this, he is finished in boxing.

James Morgan
4 Posted 04/03/2017 at 09:47:44
It's going to be really tough for Bomber but he has really wound up Haye to the point of where it could affect his performance. Haye is quick, powerful and skillful, but his ring rust and stamina might let him down if it goes beyond the middle rounds.

I hope Tony does a number on him because Haye has been a disgrace in the build up to this fight, saying you'll knock someone out is one thing, but saying you'll cabbage them is another.

Tony Hill
5 Posted 04/03/2017 at 10:18:54
Yes, Dave, he's horribly open, Bellew. I think you're right about stamina though. He needs to be careful early on but I fear he won't be.
Eugene Ruane
6 Posted 04/03/2017 at 10:45:50
By the time of the first bell, Haye will be close to 17 stone - a lot to drag around for 12 rounds while throwing punches.

So the longer it goes, imo, the better chance Bomber has.

If he can stay out of the way of 'hayemakers' for 4 rounds (as his team should be instructing him to) he could find himself in front of a much less imposing figure.

I'm old enough to remember Haye V Thompson and the hype was very similar at the time.

Haye had banged out his first 10 (puddins all) and this was going to be number 11 - for the IBO world cruiserweight title.

The Champ was Carl Thompson a very limited, rather shy, but very tough/strong lad from Lancashire.

For the first couple of rounds Haye couldn't miss Thompson and wobbled him three or four times, the fight was in the bag.

Except..Carl wouldn't go down.

And then halfway through the third Haye starts to look like he's in a trance.

He's goosed.

Now he's throwing single shots and they're missing or having no effect at all.

Thompson begins to land at will and in the fifth knocks Haye on his arse.

He got up but had to be rescued a minute later.

Haye came into the ring looking (as he will tonight) like a lilo with a bit too much air in it.

Carl Thompson basically let the lilo bounce around for a bit, then shoved a ciggy into it.

And remember, that was a 13 years younger and a much lighter Haye.

COME ON BOMBER!!!

And I hope kopite Derry Matthews wins as he provided some of the funniest comments I've ever heard at a 'presser.'

"I don't wanna knock you out lad, I wanna bladder you...coz you're a fuckin' bell-end."

Ste Traverse
7 Posted 04/03/2017 at 10:59:06
Haye has hardly boxed for years; by contrast, Bellew has been in some right scraps in that time so he should be sharper and Haye rusty.

That said, I have to say I think Haye will win. However, I hope I'm wrong and Tony sparks this gobshite clean out.

Strangely enough, everyone in this City who wants Bellew to lose seems to be a red. And they call us bitter.

Dave Brierley
8 Posted 04/03/2017 at 11:14:13
Just put a bet on Tony at 9/2. Got a feeling the 'Hayemaker' is gonna come unstuck tonight. Fingers crossed. C'mon Bomber!!
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 04/03/2017 at 11:16:19
Ste (#7) yes can't get my head round that, Reds wanting Tony to lose – look at Eugene(6) cheering and hoping Derry Mathews to win.

Talking to my mates on Monday, they wanted Tony to lose for the simple reason Tony is a Blue... ridiculous, well to a real boxing fan, it is silly.

John G Davies
10 Posted 04/03/2017 at 11:39:02
I reckon Tony will stand in range of Haye to encourage him to throw big shots then tie him up on the inside. Thereby tiring him. If he gets caught on the chin early, he could be in trouble.

Don't forget, though, Tony can take a shot. When Illunga hit him with the left hand, I was up out of my seat ready to leave the ground. Admittedly he was slightly off balance but it was a solid shot.

Point is, Tony gets up; Haye won't. If it comes down to heart, there is only one winner. 18/1 Paddy Power rounds 7-12.

Paul Holmes
11 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:27:13
The reds fans who want Bellew to lose are probably from Norway etc! Proper scousers want Tony to shut that fantasy-land Haye up!

Come on, Tony, get past 4 rounds and, as Eugene says, the partying will catch up on him.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:37:01
Because the fact of the matter, Dave, is they are the real bitter bastards. Ste (#7), is on it, and I have to agree with Eugene that Derry was hilarious, and I hope he wins tonight.

Don't know why you think Haye will put a stone on in 32 hours, Eugene, but I hope you're right, and also hope Tony Bellow's massive heart comes through once again.

Eugene Ruane
13 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:41:05
John Conteh was a Red and is (still) my all-time favourite Liverpool fighter.

Think Joey 'the jab' Singleton was a Red too, but he comes a very close second to Conteh on my all-time favourite Liverpool boxers list.

Football doesn't really come into it for me. Obviously Bomber being a massive vocal Blue, he's deffo going to get my support, but if he was any Scouser fighting Haye, he'd have my backing.

That said, when push did come to shove ('The Nark In The Park') I was in the big tent in Stanley Park rooting for Neary to burst Holligan.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:51:01
Shows you how close the two teams are in this city though, because Holligan's son Vinny, who was tragically murdered a couple of years ago, was a little Blue. xx.
Gordon Crawford
15 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:54:03
This reminds me of Canelo vs Khan. Khan did well for a while and then got knocked out. I see the same happening to Tony. Sadly I don't think he'll last 5 rounds. Hope I'm wrong though and he pulls off amazing win.
Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 04/03/2017 at 13:03:18
As Eugene says, when it comes to boxing, a great sport with great characters, from all parts of the world, football doesn't come into it.

A great Liverpool fighter and a Blue, but didn't shout from the rooftops about it, was Harry Scott, a middleweight who bear Rubin Carter and took other world class fighters all the way, Harry always and I mean always gave you your money's worth, a rough tough boxer / fighter who never gave his opponents a minutes peace in the ring; great in the ring and out of it, like a lot of boxers, a thorough gentleman.

He told me a story of when he was training at Goodison Park for a fight, part of his routine was running backwards, he was doing this one day and noicetd some of the Everton players walking around by the players tunnel. Harry was in awe of his idols, and kept on running backwards while looking at them, and he said "I went over the wall at the Stanley Park End, I picked myself up, felt like a real divi, but luckily the players never noticed."

I loved going The Stadium on a Thursday night, not as good as going to see the Blues but not all that far behind, and some of the amateur boxing and boxers were great to watch as well.

Eugene Ruane
17 Posted 04/03/2017 at 13:30:27
Tony # 12 - 'Don't know why you think Haye, will put a stone on in 32 hours Eugene, but I hope you're right, and also hope Tony Bellow's massive heart comes through once again.'

It might be wishful thinking on my part, but that 'cut' torso suggests possible dehydration (which is painful and sapping) and when in boxing weight is talked about, weight usually equals water.

Rehydrated feels better than dehydrated and many fighters (now) make huge weight jumps between weigh-in and first bell simply because they can and you feel better.

Gatti apparently used to regularly put back 20 lb in water in 24 hours.

Canello (according to Khan) put on about 30 lb before their bout which I don't believe for a second, but if you dismiss 16 pound of that as exaggeration, that's still a stone.

Why do some do it and not others?

Because some are fighting at their natural weight, others aren't.

But why would heavyweights give a shit?

With no limit, most wouldn't, but if you want to show off your lovely muscles at the weigh-in..

Richard Reeves
18 Posted 04/03/2017 at 17:06:29
I thought Haye looked like he had almost drained the tank when he fought Chisora five or six years ago and must've been relieved to've ended it then as he probably (I imagine) wouldn't have been able to get to the end of that fight at that pace.

That's where I get some of my hope from (along with the Thompson fight), that Bellew rides the storm and clips him in an exchange when he's burnt off a lot of energy. One of those glancing clips across the top of the head that doesn't look that damaging but scrambles the mind and sends the legs to jelly is what I keep imagining or hoping.

I understand why Haye is the favourite but with the amount of emotion coming from Haye it looks like it could be a repeat performance of that Chisora fight and five/six years later, no real competitive action since and inactivity could go in Bellew's favour.

Anyway, I just want Bellew to win and if it's true Haye is angry with the heavyweight scene (Joshua and Briggs) imagine how he'll feel if he looses to Bellew and although I found it quite funny at the time he might regret the 'it's like going to a knife fight with a floppy dildo' remark amongst many other things he's said.

There's nothing like a good boxing match.

Good luck, Bomber.

Tom Bowers
19 Posted 04/03/2017 at 17:27:49
We all want Bellew to win but I think Haye will get his haymaker in early against Tony's suspect jaw so we have to see if he can take it.
Joe O'Brien
20 Posted 04/03/2017 at 17:32:16
If any of the Bellew gang are reading... I hope Tony does the business against that knob David hairband Haye tonight .
Eddie Dunn
21 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:03:08
I, of course, hope our lad does it. My worry is that Bellew has often ignored his cornermen and has a tendency to go hunting for a war. Haye is lacking rounds in recent years but he is a clever fighter, and is relatively quick,and will be very dangerous early on. Even later, his punching power could catch Tony out.

However, Bellew has the heart of a lion, and Haye's hands are in a bad state, and as the fight goes on, those paws will be hurting badly. Please stay away from that muppet early doors Tony, and knock him out.

Incidentally, his comments regarding damaging his opponent is surely bringing the sport into disrepute, especially with the brain injuries we have seen recently.

Seamus McCrudden
22 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:18:09
All over for Derry. Round 3.
James Hughes
23 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:26:44
David Haye's and Tony Bellew's weigh-in was strangely subdued after weeks of heated build-up to Saturday's fight. Former WBA Heavyweight Champion, Haye, tipped the scales at 16 st 0 lb 9 oz while his rival was lighter at 15 st 3 lb 8 oz.

He was not far from 17 st at the weigh in. Carl Froch, who has sparred with Tony, says that he can be elusive in the ring when he chooses.

Come on, Bomber lad!

Ian McDowell
24 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:36:53
Anyone got any links for the fight? Come on Bellew!!!
Brian Williams
25 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:43:01
Tony'll have to fight clever, especially early on. The gameplan will no doubt be to avoid Sideshow Bob's onslaught, tie him up, tire him out, and outpunch him in the latter rounds.

The big question is whether Tony can stick to the gameplan and fight clever rather than fight mad.

I hope he does it because Haye, as Tony points out quite often, is a disgrace to the sport of boxing and is only getting in that ring because he's skint. He's a coward as well!

Paul Birmingham
26 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:55:57
Let's hope that Tony uses guile and craft and keeps it tight for the opening 4 rounds. If he can survive these unscathed and in good shape, he should out box the vile coward Haye, who is a disgrace to boxing. C'mon Bomber!
Ian McDowell
27 Posted 04/03/2017 at 20:57:01
I think the British Boxing Board of control should have became involved and stopped this fight following some of the comments and behaviour pre fight.

Like most governing body's in sport though, they are completely impotent and are only interested the money.

Tony Hill
28 Posted 04/03/2017 at 21:10:08
If I'm absolutely honest, I'm worried for Bellew in this fight. I just hope he stays safe and secure. There is something unpleasant about this match.
Jeff Armstrong
29 Posted 04/03/2017 at 21:10:29
Ian, try the World TV Plus app, you can get anything live, just watched the RS beat the Arse, before that Leicester v Hull, try it.
David Graves
30 Posted 04/03/2017 at 21:27:14
Tom Bowers – that's a particularly strange way to get behind Tony – claiming he has a "suspect jaw". Have you actually watched much boxing?
James Flynn
31 Posted 04/03/2017 at 21:41:04
And for those in the States, Thurman-Garcia in a Welterweight Unification Bout on regular network TV.
Kunal Desai
32 Posted 04/03/2017 at 21:50:47
Let's hope this is the first part of a blue weekend. Stepping up to heavy weight is a tough ask for Bellew. I'll be surprised if this is not over in 5 rounds.
Jeff Armstrong
34 Posted 04/03/2017 at 21:59:40
Ian (#24), World TV Plus app,
Phil Sammon
35 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:20:35
It staggers me that people are still watching grown men fight in 2017.
Ian McPherson
36 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:31:38
C'mon on, Bomber!!
Alan Bodell
37 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:32:09
First time ever I paid for a boxing match on TV. Put this cocky London twat in hospital, Tony, please.
Tony Hill
38 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:36:46
It's what grown men have done since time immemorial, Phil, and boxing, being a sporting version of that instinct, is an important part of male working-class culture teaching skill, discipline, fitness and self-respect.

It carries risk, certainly, but grown men relish that, or should if they want to be properly grown up.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:40:39
Phil (#35), each to his own... that's if you are serious.

Boxing has its critics but, since I was small, I've loved the sport. Never fought myself, wasn't good enough, but boxing brings a discipline to thousands of young kids all over the world, gives them somewhere to go a few nights a week, they learn to box and how to defend themselves.

They are also learn respect for their opponents and how to behave properly around people by genuine trainers who give up their time to train boys, who make lifelong friends at their own club and boys who they fight.

Got to go now, Phil, the fight is about to start very soon... only on the radio but brings back many happy memories of days from long ago, like Turpin on the night he beat the great Sugar Ray Robinson.

After all that, I hope you wasn't winding me up.

Peter Moore
40 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:47:04
Any links anyone?
Andrew Ellams
41 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:51:54
Haye looks like he's dragging a wooden leg around
Ray Roche
42 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:54:14
http://mamahd.com/box-live-stream-1
Ian McPherson
43 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:11:41
Finish him!
Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:12:06
Come on, Tony, you've got him, 7th round.... one minute left of this round.
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:18:56
Looks like Haye's ankle has gone, showed a lot of heart, hope Tony doesn't punch himself out.

Eighth round, slowed down, Haye trying to draw Bellew forward, but Tony is too cagey. Bell's gone.

Bellew is in charge, just has to last the next four rounds, both tired.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:27:16
Bellew getting through with lots of heavy punches but Haye taking them, showing lots of heart and courage. Haye caught Bellew with a low blow near the end of round nine.

Bellew well ahead, just has to stay out of trouble to win. Come on, Tony, but praise to Haye for his courage.

Referee talking to Bellew, Haye can hardly move his leg but is staying on. Another round for Bellew, Haye is turning his back on Bellew.

Tony Hill
47 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:32:19
Excellent from Bellew. Much, much better tactically and defensively than I'd expected. Obviously the ankle injury was a factor but our man was superb. I know this wasn't truly top line boxing but it was fantastic to watch an Evertonian come through so well.
Seamus McCrudden
48 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:32:32
Well done, Tony lad. Knocked him out Round 11. Coyb.
Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:32:37
Towel is thrown into the ring, Haye knocked through the ropes and trainer throws the towel in.

Both boxers embrace each other and Bellew helps Haye back to his corner.

A great fight according to the radio, could be a rematch.

Jeff Armstrong
50 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:32:42
Yes, well done, Tony.
Paul Turner
51 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:33:37
Well done Tony, showing real class at the end there. Now let's see the Blues stop Spurs in their tracks tomorrow. COYB!
Ian McDowell
52 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:33:55
What a fight. Fantastic by Bellew and what class to go straight to your opponent and show some respect. I didn't like what Haye said in the build up but what a fighter he was tonight, showed great resilience.
Oliver Molloy
53 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:42:04
Why did he help Haye back to his corner? After everything he said about him and the people of Liverpool, it seems these guys just take us all for mugs!

Jamie Carragher apparently seen up raving for Bellew, total Evertonian deep down is Carragher.

John Audsley
54 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:44:34
Great win for the Bomber and a fantastic fight, Tony is a blue legend!!!
Brent Stephens
55 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:45:09
Oliver, if you don't understand that, you don't understand boxing or human nature.
Patrick Murphy
56 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:46:03
It's a pity that Tony isn't a footballer, he'd show all that grit and determination in an Everton shirt, hope his victory inspires the lads tomorrow. Great to hear Z-Cars belting out and who knows Bomber's next fight may be at Goodison.
John Ronnie
57 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:49:50
Loving Z-Cars being played to celebrate Tony winning.

Always gets the hairs up on the back of the neck.

Now do it tomorrow, boys...

Oliver Molloy
58 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:50:39
Brent,

A guy says he wants to kill you and you help him back to his corner – yeah right, human nature!

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:56:24
You don't understand it, Oliver. It's being magnanimous. It's having the opportunity in triumph to be magnanimous and not to grind your opponent into the ground once you've won – that's the way some people behave. Especially when your opponent probably had a big ankle problem.

And what did our Tony say before the fight?

James Marshall
60 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:56:39
The talk pre-fight is just that, talk - it's gone on for 100 years and will always be meaningless. Mike Tyson once told a reporter he was going to eat his children, though in the end he didn't.

Bellew is a class act, and Haye, love him or loathe him, is a hard bastard, which is why Tony helped him back to his corner – the guy just fought for 6 rounds with what appeared to be a ruptured achilles tendon in a sport where people can easily be killed.

If you don't understand that, you don't know anything about sport or boxing.

Peter Howard
61 Posted 04/03/2017 at 00:02:20
I've always loved boxing.

I don't know why because I couldn't fight to save my life.

...or maybe I could . Who knows?

But one thing I'm totally sure of is that those who criticise boxing and call it barbaric etc etc do not understand life.

Oliver Molloy
62 Posted 04/03/2017 at 00:03:05
Yeah I don't understand it Brent, I didn't read Bellew firing off insults like his opponent did.

What did he say?

Tony Hill
63 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:03:30
I think Bellew has emerged from this fight enhanced both as a boxer and as a man.
Steve Ferns
64 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:04:05
Bellew always goes to his victim and has a word in his ear. He did it at Goodison too. I don't like all the talk before the boxing, but it is something that needs to be done to sell the fight. Bellew calls himself gobby. But he's clearly not all that he seems as he always has that empathy for his vanquished foe.

Top man. Let's hope the blues make it a double tomorrow.

Kunal Desai
65 Posted 04/03/2017 at 00:07:00
Let's hope its 2-0 at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
Mike Hughes
66 Posted 04/03/2017 at 00:07:58
Wow!!!
I was looking forward to this fight all week.

For me it's Everton FC, then boxing, then horse racing / other football in that order of priority and importance.

Listened to it on Radio 5Live. Congratulations to Tony Bellew.
Great preparation and tactics. To have a win over David Haye on your record is an amazing achievement. Superb heart, belief and sportsmanship.

Hairs on the back of my neck when Z-Cars played.

Come on, you Mighty Blues.

James Marshall
67 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:07:59
Oliver – you only have to listen to Haye post-fight. He gave Bellew every credit, no excuses despite his injury. He said Tony stood up to punches that have destroyed other opponents, and that's a massive compliment.

Forget the pre-fight trash-talk.

Eugene Ruane
68 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:32:23
What was great was that Bellew appeared (and this is just guesswork) to have listened really well to his corner's instructions and followed them to the letter.

Dave Coldwell (it seems) understood that Haye would/could be very dangerous early on, but also knew that if Bellew could keep out of range for the first half of the fight, Haye would be blowing for tugs after 4/5 rounds..and vulnerable.

After the 4th (as with Carl Thompson 13 years earlier) you could see a look in Haye's eyes that said, 'What the fuck do I do now?'

He was virtually defenceless after 7 or 8.

By the way, I watched the bill in The Coffee House, Wavertree – fucking great atmosphere.

Come on, Bomber and..up the Toffees!!

James Marshall
69 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:36:46
The greatest scouser vs someone with one leg victory since Paul McCartney divorced Heather Mills.

Peter Anthony
70 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:40:20
Superb Tony Bellew. Given no chance, 6-1 outsider in a two horse race. Belief, heart, fight, passion, quality: Victory. COYB.
Martin Nicholls
71 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:41:16
Brilliant show from the Bomber – make it a double now, Blues!
Gavin Johnson
72 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:46:41
Well done to Tony, it was a great fight. Boxing is my favourite sport to watch, except watching Everton. Forget UFC, a top fight like this wins hands down.

I've never liked David Haye, some of his comments about boxing have been disrespectful to the sport that made him rich.

I've always found him to be a bit of a gobshite with his arrogant trash talk before fights. It was nice change to see another fighter actually rattle him before going in to the ring. Tony's probably the first fighter I've seen get the edge over Haye in the mind games, but fair play to Haye for carrying on, he's gone up in my estimation after tonight. It was good to see the sportsmanship between the two after it was stopped. Haye was very gracious in defeat.

What a weekend if the Blues can do the double in London tomorrow.

Drew O'Neall
73 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:57:02
Lee Selby on the under card 'easy peasy lemon squeezy'.

The boy needs to take a leaf out of Tony Bellew and David Haye's book of shivalry and magnanimous diplomacy.

Si Turner
75 Posted 05/03/2017 at 01:17:27
Best fight build-up for a while and the actual fight didn't disappoint.

Tony on top for the 2nd half of the fight and I was just waiting for the KO. Right decision to throw the towel in.

Don't think the bomber could bang with Parker or Wilde though at heavy. The weight caught up with Tony after Round 8 so I would focus on cruiserweight unification if he wants a legacy. Heavyweight will no doubt pay more...

Jim Knightley
76 Posted 05/03/2017 at 01:54:08
What a fight. It was so enthralling. I've been looking forward to this for months. Absolutely amazing stuff. Bellew is a warrior, although the ankle injury changed things.

So exhausting to match. And then it's back to us tomorrow.

Chris Gould
77 Posted 05/03/2017 at 01:58:30
Just got back from the O2 arena. Amazing atmosphere and fantastic fight. The Bellew fans were brilliant.

There will be a re-match, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was at Goodison.

Brian Williams
78 Posted 05/03/2017 at 02:19:03
I hope you're wrong about the rematch. If I was Tony I'd say "Been there, done that." I'd like to see him return to cruiserweight and leave Haye to somebody else now. Don't want to see Tony get used just to provide that tosser with another big payday. Tony doesn't need him.
Gordon Crawford
79 Posted 05/03/2017 at 03:58:46
I'm so happy to be wrong. What a fight. It had everything and more. Well done Tony, you did us all proud. You took everything he could throw at you and still didn't back down. Great respect shown at the end by both fighters.

I don't like Haye, but he redeemed himself some at the end. No excuses, the better man won. Haye also showed some heart in not giving up after Round 6.

Now let's go thump Spurs today. COYB and well done, Tony.

James Flynn
80 Posted 05/03/2017 at 06:55:58
I think I can present something fellow fight fans would appreciate.

First, Congrats to Bellew. Good on him. Wondered if he could withstand Hayes's bombs.

Second, just finished watching the Welterweight Champion unification fight between Thurman and Garcia. Solid fighters both. What stood out was that neither had an inside fighting game. Not once in 12 rounds did either try to get in close and stay there. Not once in a unification bout.

I know I'm being the "Why back in my day..." guy here, but Leonard, Duran, Hearns too, had an inside game. Among all their ring skills, they could sit in there tight and fight. Both Thurman and Garcia would have been blown out.

Anyway, if anyone's still reading, here's an 18-19 minute look at the master boxer Roberto Duran plying his trade getting in close and staying there against the terrific welterweight Carlos Palomino:

Link

James Morgan
81 Posted 05/03/2017 at 07:06:57
Great stuff from Tony. He predicted the fight to a tee, that if it went past five rounds that Haye would gas, and that he is a one-trick pony. Haye soon realised he was in a scrap and his big shots weren't hurting Bellew.

In fact, he actually looked like he'd had a couple of tequilas with the way he was wildly swinging and missing. Imagine what Joshua would have done to Haye!

Tony Bellew shows what heart and desire can get you; you don't have to be the fastest, strongest or have a body like Adonis. Made up for him.

Darren Hind
82 Posted 05/03/2017 at 07:40:17
Redemption for Haye in defeat... very humble and magnanimous and braver than I thought.

Glory for the Bomber... wonderful to see him, arms raised in victory with Z-Cars blasting out.

COYB. Let's make this weekend's dual raid on London one to remember!

Mike Green
83 Posted 05/03/2017 at 08:02:09
Oliver (#62),

Boxing is a brutal sport. I've only boxed at school level but when you enter the ring you completely expose yourself to your opponent and the crowd if there's is one. When the bell goes, that alone is enough to earn respect for each other, never mind what comes afterwards – you understand that when you're a teenager never mind at this level, which is stratospeheres above.

The trash talk before a fight is just that – Talk. It's there to try and build a psychological advantage over your opponent and in the big fight case draw punters in to watch the show – which whether you watched it or not worked to an extent with you given how it appears to have got under your skin. You do have cases where there is genuine animosity between fighters but, on the whole, the pantomime that goes on outside of the ring has nothing to do with what goes on in it.

You might be a boxer yourself, I don't know. If you're not, go to your local club and offer to spar for two rounds and at the end of that you might understand why you'd help someone back to his corner regardless of what they've said before the fight. I seriously recommend it if you've never done it – because if you haven't – well, you're just talk, aren't you?

Congratulations to Tony Bellew for a great win last night and to David Haye for bringing such an enthralling fight to the ring. I had Haye on top for the first half and Tony on top after that so as it wore on thought it would be a tight points decision with Haye probably coming through as the winner, so I was slightly amazed but completely thrilled when I saw the towel float into the ring. Brilliant. Bellew was the outsider but having him at 5/1 last night was outrageous – I cashed in and many other Blues will have done too. Fingers crossed the same scenario will play out again today.

Well done Tony, enjoy the match today and fingers crossed your performance will inspire our boys on how to bring down a supposedly superior opponent and still show your class throughout.

COYB.

John G Davies
84 Posted 05/03/2017 at 08:13:58
Mike (#83).

Anyone who ever ducked under a rope has got courage. Credit to Haye for his response to the injury. Our boy did us all proud. Heart of a lion.

I don't have the words that would do justice to the performance he put on tonight. The way he stood and exchanged what Haye in the early rounds set the fight up for him.

You could see Hayes mindset change after that. He should go back down to cruiser now although there probably won't be the same money.

Hats off to a great fighter a great blue and a great man. Hope one or two of you took the 18/1 I mentioned yesterday afternoon.

Happy days.

Ernie Baywood
85 Posted 05/03/2017 at 08:52:28
Fair play, Tony, you said you'd do it and you did.

I don't bother reading into the pre-fight stuff. It's WWE and UFC style showmanship to sell the fight. With very few exceptions, boxers will have respect for anyone who has the balls to step into the ring.

On the fight, the injury obviously mattered but, once it went to five or six rounds, the pattern was established anyway. Haye with a puncher's chance. Bellew making the running. Struggled to put him away for a few rounds but largely stayed smart and out of range.

I'd hope there's no rematch and Bellew could go and dominate the Cruiserweight division. That said, if there's money then go and make it while you can. No-one can begrudge him earning.

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 05/03/2017 at 08:55:35
Mike (#83),

A great description of how boxing and boxers operate. I've seen old men in town talking about the fights they had, in the ring, 50 years before. Boxing has its faults but creates a friendship that lasts as well.

Made up for Tony Bellew but massive praise for Haye, who proved me and others wrong, I thought he would fold when the going got tough; he didn't... he got going instead. He had a great heart last night and he and Tony Bellew produced an epic fight that will be talked about for years.

I envy everyone who watched the fight especially those that were there – what an atmosphere.

Guy Hastings
87 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:03:59
James (#69) – made my morning, and probably the rest of the week, too.
David Midgley
88 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:06:40
James (#80) – One of the best fights ever.

Dave (#39) – Eamonn Andrews, W Barrington Daulby, Raymond Glendenning... Even your kitchen seemed to be full of smoke and atmosphere.

Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:13:55
David (#88), yes Randolph Turpin versus Sugar Ray, I remember it like yesterday. I was ten or eleven, a great night and fight for Randy.
Ian Bennett
90 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:27:09
Credit to him, I was willing him to win yesterday. I think Craig Bellew posts on here and he must be chuffed to bits. He's proved a lot of people wrong with his heart and desire. A bit of humble pie for everyone including me – but he's set up for life with that rematch at Goodison Park.

Hope it goes to season ticket holders first!

Charlie Lloyd
91 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:31:10
Well done, Tony Bellew.

What a fight. Written off by pretty much everybody, with no chance, he came through it. Yes, the ankle injury to Haye helped but he had taken some big shots before that occurred. Showed the heart of a lion. Showed class in the embrace and post fight chat with Haye. Haye recognised Tony's quality as a fighter and human being too.

I hope he doesn't return to a rematch though. This is the past now.

Just need a victory at Spurs now to complete the weekend.

Eddie Dunn
92 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:33:32
Bellew mentioned in the build-up that Haye was skint.

It was interesting post-fight that Haye didn't blame his ankle but said the best man won. Was this magnanimous humility or was he hoping for a rematch, which he went on to mention 3 or 4 times?

If I was Tony, I would avoid a rematch- it would just be about the money. I suspect that Haye will struggle to fight again. His toe against Klitschko, and now his ankle/Achilles against Bellew.

His body is letting him down- he may have looked chiselled, but his heavy weight suggests everything was geared to getting it over in 4. The rumours about the ankle prior to the bout suggest that all was not right for Haye, but I suspect his need to pay the bills, and all of his entourage, forced him to go ahead with the fight in the hope that he could despatch Bellew before the problem got worse.

Who knows? Haye might have racked up enough early rounds to nick it on points. Bellew certainly started to look tired carrying his extra weight.

I hope Tony goes back to cruiserweight where he looks good.

Chris Gould
93 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:38:38
If that performance doesn't inspire the boys, then I don't know what will. I hope the away support show the same passion as they showed last night. Bellew must have felt like he was fighting in Liverpool.

It really was a truly memorable night and both fighters deserve a huge amount of credit. It looked like it was Haye's ankle that went, probably his Achilles, but Bellew had taken some big shots before Haye's injury and not been shaken. Both fighters showed tremendous heart.

I hope Bellew drops back down to cruiserweight, but the big money is in the heavyweight division, so I expect he'll be tempted into a Haye re-match or maybe a shot at Parker.

Steve Ferns
94 Posted 05/03/2017 at 10:48:00
Bellew said that he broke his hand in round two. You'd never have guessed.
Oliver Molloy
95 Posted 05/03/2017 at 10:53:45
Mike,

Like many people I presume, I have had my fair share of boxing over the years due to one thing or another but never in a professional environment, (once or twice as a very small boy in primary school) and I won't be going to a gym to experience boxing thank you very much for lots of reasons!

I very much agree that it is indeed a brutal sport, and not one I have had much interest in over the years. There are a couple of young guys (mid 20s) I know who train hard and do this cage fighting UFC stuff, that seems even more brutal than boxing.

I also know people in the travelling community who settle scores with fist fights – I'm told these fights can go on for hours! It may prove you can take a hit and dig one out but are you a better man in life than the next guy, for me No – for them it absolutely does.

Anyway I do not agree that calling people from a particular area "retards" and telling your opponent you are going to kill him (for his wife and small children to hear that) is simply trash talk. If Haye had won this fight, what do you think he would have said – more trash talk right?

Me, and I appreciate everyone is different, but I wouldn't be helping a guy back to their corner who had said stuff like that. The stuff Haye was saying crossed the line even in trash talk terms and you know it probably inspired Bellew even more.

What Haye should be saying is "Me and my trainor got it totally wrong and we were too big for our boots – I said some not so very nice things before this fight and I apologise for that – it was bang out of order."

It's never going to happen I know, but then I might respect him. The only reason Haye was gracious in his defeat is because he had to be by the way, nothing to do with being a ring warrior .

In professional terms I have been reading this morning that Haye had been training on a boat in America – I have never heard that before – surely an experienced guy like Barry McGuigan would not be encouraging that.

Over here in Ireland people in boxing circles are saying Shane McGuigan and his Da have been liking the limelight on Sky a little too much and have been taking their eye off the ball.

Apparently Carl Frampton's latest fight in Vegas was agreed on the basis of a 100% guarantee there would be the third and final boxing match in Belfast if he lost it (which he did) and it looks like it's not going to happen, in Belfast anyway. If it doesn't the relationship between boxer and trainer will come to an end, boxing people are saying.

It was a nice touch from Bellew when he said he was hoping to see the Chairman (who hasn't been well, I think he said). So very happy the better man won, and I hope if Bellew does make it to the match today, he will pop into the dressing room beforehand.

Come on Everton.

Ernie Baywood
96 Posted 05/03/2017 at 10:59:14
He'll certainly be at the match. I seem to recall him saying he wanted this date as he knew we were playing there the day after!

On helping Haye back to his corner, maybe he showed more respect than his pre-match comments deserved, but it would follow a fairly straight-forward philosophy and one that I'm trying to teach my kids. You can't control how other people behave, but you control how you behave. Maybe he was just setting the right example. What would be gained from doing anything to the contrary?

Dave Williams
97 Posted 05/03/2017 at 12:06:22
A great display of sportsmanship from both men. Haye could have used his leg injury as an excuse but insisted on several occasions that Tony was the better man and all credit to him for that as he must have been so disappointed if not embarrassed after all he had said.

Tony was far more controlled than I had expected and I am made up for him but, at the same time, worried about his next fight. I can't see him going back down to cruiserweight and it sounds like he is after a final big pay day in the heavies. Wilder is too big and hits too hard for Tony and thank the Lord he has already ruled out Joshua for those reasons.

He wouldn't get near to Klitschko if he boxes on after the Joshua fight – apart from Haye again I don't see a heavyweight fight where Tony could sensibly have a go. I'm not underestimating his courage and ability but am seriously concerned that he will get carried away with this and take on someone who could do him serious damage.

I know most people thought Haye might do that but Haye to me fought a strange fight from the start with a leaning forward style which was never going to give him leverage for a big punch. I do wonder if he was hampered by the Achilles from the very start?

Not to detract from what Tony did, however – a great night and very well done!!

Oliver Molloy
98 Posted 05/03/2017 at 12:57:46
Ernie @ 96,

You make a good point, but I guess at the end of the day we are all different and our parents and their parents probably do influence the person we become.

If I had ever called anyone a retard my Father would have made sure I never did so again and then I would have had to face my Mother.

If someone had ever treated our family or a member of his family with disrespect he would take issue with it. Perhaps it is the reason I don't like boxing!

Terry Underwood
99 Posted 09/03/2017 at 12:41:44
I have had my fair share of scraps, just like anyone of my age (#63) but only ever boxed under rules once...

When I joined the military, the PTI happily announced that "Everybody will box". We got paired off according to size and I ended up in the ring with the West Midlands junior champion.

Of course being outclassed, I got slapped around for a bit till I thought "Enough is enough." I then kicked the twat in the nuts and he went down like a sack of shit. Got a real beasting from the PTI but worth it.

Tom Bowers
100 Posted 09/03/2017 at 13:32:18
This was never a shock result to me. Haye was aging and still thought his big right hand could take care of business but his record in recent years was not credible and at 36 he was desperate to finish this fight early.

Bellew knew exactly what he had to do and he did it right. Taking one or two glancing shots and firing back well. Yes it may have gone to a decision if not for the injury but we will never know.

Bellew looked like the bigger stronger man although he weighed in less than Haye. Bellew just looked to be more confident going in.

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