WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew produced a stunning upset to stop bitter rival David Haye in a thrilling heavyweight contest at London’s O2 Arena.
The Liverpudlian, 34, pounced when Haye suffered what turned out to be an Achilles injury in the sixth round to score a knockdown.
Haye, who had his right ankle strapped, carried on as bravely as he could for the rest of the fight, but was unable to move freely as Bellew seized the momentum.
And in the 11th, a second knockdown saw former heavyweight champion Haye tangled in the ropes, the towel enter from his corner and his hopes of a return to the world-title level of the sport left in tatters.
Bellew – a big underdog with bookmakers – raced to trainer Dave Coldwell in celebration as he scored a victory which will likely filter through to non-boxing fans far more than his 2016 world-title win at Goodison Park did.
Bellew: I asked Haye to throw in the towel
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And the bitter war of words leading up to the fight ended with Bellew helping a limping and exhausted Haye back to his corner.
The two embraced and the beaten, humbled Haye asked for a rematch during a lengthy post-fight interview before heading off to hospital to have surgery.