BOXING: Tony Bellew has caused a huge upset by stepping up two weights and stopping an incapacitated David Haye in the 11th round in a gripping, all-British heavyweight grudge fight at the O2 Arena in London.
Haye, In his third fight in his boxing comeback, appeared to injure his right Achilles in the sixth round but fought on despite virtually being a sitting target.
Haye slipped on a wet patch of canvas during a wild exchange.
Both fighters called for a rematch, while Haye described it as one of the best fights he'd been involved with.
"It was like a Rocky movie in there," he said.
Ironically Bellew starred in a Hollywood film, as Pretty Ricky Conlan, in the Rocky spin-off, Creed, in 2015.
Bellew, the WBC cruiserweight champion, showed patience in picking his moment to finish off Haye and the end came with 53 seconds left of the 11th with a flurry of punches that sent his rival out of the ring.
In a fight that had no title on the line, but lots of money, Haye climbed back in, but his corner threw in the towel.
The 36-year-old Haye had his eye on title fights with the likes of IBF champion Anthony Joshua, but the future of the former WBA heavyweight champ looks barren after a third loss in a 31-fight career.
Haye refused to blame his injury, instead praising an opponent he had abused with a stream of insults in the build-up.
"Tony was a great fighter, that's what went wrong. I wanted to do a demolition job but this guy has the heart of a lion," Haye said. "I've knocked out people a lot bigger and a lot stronger with a lot less.
"I didn't expect him to have the chin and durability that he had. I gave it my best shot and my best wasn't good enough tonight."
Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KO) was giving up five kilograms and fighting his first professional bout at heavyweight.
He was a 4-1 outsider before the fight.
"I am the champion of the misfits," said Bellew, who is from Liverpool in northern England, "and tonight I have taken my glory."
After all the acrimony and bitterness in the build-up, the pair linked arms after the fight and Bellew kissed the head of Haye.
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