Belfast Telegraph

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Bellew too strong for Haye again

Londoner’s reputation in tatters after loss.

David Haye’s career was left in ruins after he again lost to Tony Bellew, this

time following a fifth-round stoppage in their rematch at London’s O2 Arena.

The heavyweight had conceded he would have no choice but to retire if he
suffered another unexpected defeat.

At 37 years old and having proved increasingly injury prone, Haye’s reputation
has been left beyond repair after successive defeats by an opponent who was a light-heavyweight, while he reigned as the WBA heavyweight champion at his peak.

Regardless of his claims he would rediscover the reflexes and power that had
brought him such success, one of Britain’s finest fighters looked older than
ever when being dropped three times and to the extent he would be foolish to
fight on.

An Achilles injury when losing in the 11th round last March had then robbed
Haye of his power and balance, but it had also masked the ring rust that had
built after previously fighting less than three rounds since 2012.

To overcome an opponent enjoying the finest run of his career, and in his first
fight since appointing Ismael Salas as his new trainer, he needed to swiftly
begin to time Bellew before the likelihood of him tiring after the opening
rounds.

He had come to the ring considerably lighter than 14 months ago, but Bellew
regardless remained an awkward style of opponent who demanded he become the aggressor instead of fight on the back foot, where he was once consistently at his best.

Bellew, 35, was also lighter having recognised he is not a true heavyweight,
and while struggling until landing the fight-changing right hand that put Haye
down in the third, he then exposed his rival as shot.

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