Tony Bellew repeated his victory over David Haye in their heavyweight rematch as he stopped his British rival in the fifth round.
The Merseysider floored Haye twice in the third round and the fight was waved off in the fifth after the 37-year-old toppled to the canvas again, with Bellew producing a second successive stoppage victory at The O2.
Haye appeared to injure his troublesome right leg, just as he did in their first fight, and will be forced to consider retirement, but Bellew can look ahead to more major fights either at heavyweight or cruiserweight.
— Everton (@Everton) May 5, 2018
With his boxing future at stake, a smiling Haye sauntered to the ring with no sign of apprehension, and donned headphones while Bellew marched through the crowd to his ‘Z-Cars’ entrance theme.
Haye confidently started the fight, stabbing out a swift jab, and ended the opening round with a crisp right hand.
Backing away, Bellew seemed to be waiting for his moment to counter in the second, but Haye landed another heavy right hand and both raised their arms defiantly.
All the posturing was forgotten in the third round as Bellew floored Haye heavily in the corner when they traded hooks at close range.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) May 5, 2018
Rising unsteadily, Haye could not keep Bellew at bay, and seemed to have aggravated a leg injury as he crumpled to the canvas after another flurry of shots.
Bellew tried to force the finish in the fourth, hammering in hooks and right hands as Haye stumbled gingerly around the ring.
The final punches would come in the fifth as Haye was dropped heavily by a left hook from Bellew, and referee Howard Foster stopped him on his feet, possibly signalling the end of his last fight.