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Bellew stops Haye after he suffers injury

By Scott Gilfoid: Tony Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) was like a proud peacock tonight after stopping an injured David Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) in the 11th round in a fight televised by Sky Box Office pay-per-view. Bellew was getting beaten by Haye though five rounds. Haye, 36, showed a lot of heart in fighting on an injured leg for half the fight tonight after hurting it in round 6.

Some boxers would have likely quit if they had suffered the same injury, but Haye stayed in there until the bitter end when is corner threw in the towel in round 11.

Bellew was only able to take over the fight because Haye injured his right ankle in round 6. Haye’s injury swung the fight over to Bellew’s side. He was later able to stop the hobbling Haye in round 11, but only because he wasn’t fighting with two strong legs. There’s a good way and a bad way to win a fight. The way that Bellew got the victory was obviously the bad way.

Haye’s injury tainted Bellew’s win. It was only after Haye hurt his right ankle that Bellew was able to take command of the fight. Haye didn’t talk about the injury after the fight the way he had about his toe injury in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko six years ago in 2011. Did Haye choose to hold back information intentionally on his right ankle injury tonight in order to keep from being labeled as a poor sport and an excuse maker?

Haye was doing fine through five rounds in dominating Bellew with his powerful jab, and making it look rather easy. The fight turned around in the 6th when Haye’s right leg appeared to give out on him. Haye then started to unload on Bellew with wild haymaker power shots that mostly missed. It was clear that Haye’s legs weren’t stable under him. He had injured right leg somehow or perhaps he had injured it previously like the rumors suggest. Haye was rumored to have an ankle injury in the last week of the fight. While some boxing fans believed the injury, it was generally viewed as just a rumor by a lot of people. It’s obviously a terrible coincidence that Haye injured his right ankle during the Bellew fight. Was this a preexisting injury or did it occur during the heat of the battle?

After the fight, Bellew crowed about the victory when interviewed by Sky, speaking as if he had beaten a healthy Haye rather than a fighter limping around painfully on one leg. It was surprising that the referee didn’t stop the action and march Haye over to the ringside doctor to have him examine Haye’s injured right ankle, because I think there’s a good chance the fight would have been halted right then and there in round 6. That’s when Haye right leg started to first give him problems.

If the fight had been stopped in that round, then Bellew probably wouldn’t have been able to beam with pride like he did. It would be an injury stoppage rather what we saw tonight with Haye getting knocked through the ropes in round 11 from a 1-2 combination that Bellew hit him with. The fight was stopped officially at 2:16 of round 11 by referee Phil Edwards. This was a result of Haye’s trainer Shane McGuigan throwing in the towel in the 11th round.

I don’t know why McGuigan did that, because Haye had beaten the count fully and was ready to continue fighting. He wasn’t hurt. The shots that knocked Haye through the ropes were weaker punches that appeared to push him down rather than hurting him. Haye was also knocked down in round 6 after his ankle started to give him problems. Haye was trying to clinch Bellew when he was hit by a shot that knocked him off balance and onto the canvas. Haye wasn’t hurt by the shot. It was a situation where it appeared that Haye fell down more because his leg wasn’t supporting him rather than him being hurt.

Haye went down twice in round 6. The referee ruled the first knockdown a slip, but he couldn’t the second one despite Bellew not having landed anything solid. Haye didn’t look hurt. He just looked like his right ankle was too hurt to hold him up.

”He beat me fair and square,” said Haye when interviewed following his loss to Bellew.

If Haye needs surgery to repair his right ankle injury, it could keep him on the shelf for a considerable amount of time. Haye already dealt with a bad shoulder injury to his right shoulder that kept him out of the ring from 2012 to 2016. That was four long years.

When Haye did return to action last year, he didn’t look as blazing fast or as accurate with his punches as he had in his win over Dereck Chisora in 2012. Haye couldn’t miss with his punches in that fight. If that version of Haye had been inside the ring with Bellew tonight, he likely would have made easy work of him in scoring a fast knockout. Never the less, Haye was still getting the better of Bellew through the first five rounds with his pressure, power and hand speed. It was the injury that changed everything.

Bellew had tried hard to finish off the injured Haye from rounds 6-10, but he hadn’t been able to do the job. The only thing that Bellew achieved was him gassing out. Bellew was so tired by the 7th that Haye was able to hobble around the ring and take the fight to him. That’s how gassed out Bellew was. Even Haye on one good leg was still able to get the better of him much of the time. Bellew did slightly the better work than Haye in the last five rounds. Those rounds were close because Bellew wasn’t fighting aggressively enough.

Haye was missing a lot of his power shots even before he suffered the ankle injury in the 6th. Haye’s accuracy wasn’t there tonight for some reason. If Haye didn’t do enough sparring in training camp, then that might be one reason why he wasn’t able to hit Bellew on a frequent basis. Haye was missing way too much.

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