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Tony Bellew TKO 11 David Haye

This highly anticipated fight’s biggest question coming in had to be can Tony Bellew handle the power of David Haye? Considering he had been knocked out by Adonis Stevenson in the light heavyweight division, this looked like a mismatch on paper. But in sports, you never really can be sure about anything, and in the end, this fight proved that tenfold.

The first three rounds Bellew did well, as he looked to be the more relaxed fighter. Haye, on the other hand, seemed tight and tense, swinging and missing with multiple hayemakers. The fourth round Haye looked to be settled down and calm, and Bellew was just seeking to counter and was not throwing or landing anything of significance.

So with Haye seemingly more comfortable, it seemed as though the fight was well within his control, that is until the sixth round. Haye appeared to slip and either twist his ankle or possibly hurt his Achilles. Haye went down just from throwing a punch on a couple of occasions and it looked like the fight was near completion. A lot of people in the past have questioned Haye’s heart, well that will be hard to do after what ensued over the rest of the fight.

Haye in the seventh and eight round tried to keep the battle in his corner so he could limit the amount of movement he would have to use. By the end of the eighth round, Bellew looked like he was starting to tire, unfortunately, with his injury, Haye’s punches were mostly arm punches and seemed to do little to no damage.

Haye’s movement was slightly improved in the ninth round, but there was still not any real power on his punches. Bellew, on the other hand, became more aggressive, but for some reason did not attempt to cut the ring off as he was content to just follow Haye around the ring.

The corner men of Haye tried after the ninth round to put tape on the injury, but it did not seem to help. By now it was just a matter of time. The eleventh round saw Bellew continue to follow Haye around the ring until late in the round when Bellew landed a solid blow near the ropes that sent Haye down and through the ropes. Haye did get up but his corner mercifully threw in the towel ending the fight.

The upset will blow Bellew’s popularity in the U.K. through the roof and I think the toughness Haye showed is something that British fight fans will remember for a very long time. I still believe without the injury Haye would have ended up winning this fight and a rematch will do big business once again in England. The only problem I can forsee in the rematch would be how bad is David Haye’s injury? After watching Tony Bellew’s performance I do not see him being a threat to the likes of Anthony Joshua or any of the top five heavyweights in the world. Bellew is a solid fighter I just don’t think he has enough power, and more importantly, is not active enough to withstand guys like Joshua.

What is weird is that David Haye may come away from this fight as the biggest winner of the night. His heart has been questioned for most of his career and that ended with tonight’s performance.

On the undercard

Sam Eggington KO 8 over Paulie Malignaggi

The big question coming into this fight was how much did Malignaggi have left in the tank? On the Eggington side was the question of how Eggington would handle a fighter as experienced as Malignaggi?

The fight started out with Eggington using his superior height and reach to his advantage, controlling the pace of the fight. For the first three rounds, Eggington looked to be winning going away as Malignaggi looked slower than usual. Malignaggi did land the occasional shot, but overall he looked like an old fighter.

Malignaggi seemed to climb back into the fight by winning the fourth round. Malignaggi won the round by being more active and seemed to get his legs under him. Eggington regained control of the fight in the fifth round by utilizing what made him successful at the beginning, distance control. The sixth round saw Malignaggi’s biggest moment of the fight, which came at the end of the sixth round when he landed an amazing twenty-punch combination. It would be Malignaggi’s last stand as a professional boxer.

In the seventh segment Malignaggi came out fast, but he seemed to tire quickly. This continued into the eighth round until half way through the round when Eggington landed a huge left hook to Malignaggi’s body, flooring the former champion who could not continue. The ending was very reminiscent of the body shot that Bernard Hopkins stopped Oscar DeLaHoya with.

Eggington was impressive in the way he controlled the veteran Malignaggi with his height and reach; is he a possible World Champion? I don’t think so but with all the fractional title belts out there who knows? Malignaggi should, and I believe will retire. He had an excellent career and will be remembered as a warrior who never ducked anybody.