The face of defeat: Tony Bellew stops David Haye in fifth round

Tony Bellew

Tony Bellew

Haye now has four defeats from 32 fights in a career during which he became only the second boxer after American Evander Holyfield to unify the cruiserweight titles and become a heavyweight world champion. Haye, meanwhile, denied that he suffered a foot injury in the first knockdown.

Haye went down three times in the contest and eventually stopped in the fifth round at the O2 Arena in London.

Asked whether he would still be receptive to a call from Eddie Hearn, Bellew's promoter, Ward again dodged the issue and pointed out he had heard nothing more from the Matchroom chief since the idea of a second bout with Carl Froch was floated in 2013. "They definitely got their money's worth, but the better man won on the night, Tony Bellew, so congratulations to him". "I know people think I'm insane, but I know I can do it". I am a walking Super Series.

He said: "Tony boxed a great fight - I thought I was fit enough to beat him, but it turns out I wasn't. I need that mega star".

If Haye continues to fight, Bellew fears his former rival will get an even bigger beating by a harder punching heavyweight. Every punch I threw was for you. Haye connects with a couple of short left uppercuts that momentarily put Bellew to the ropes. He also changed trainers.

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The following two rounds took much the same course, with Bellew seemingly happy to let Haye expend energy.

Both men were given the same £2.5m guarantee in their first fight, although Haye reportedly came away with a whopping £4.2m. Revenge on his mind and a right hand cocked and loaded, Haye stalked Bellew, establishing control of the center of the ring in the opening frame.

Bellew, the former WBC cruiserweight champion, was again considered the underdog but is enjoying the finest run of his career. And ones which Haye will unlikely take too lightly. An ugly post-fight fracas with Dereck Chisora following his loss to Klitschko which resulted in Haye smashing a bottle into his fellow Englishman's face still leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. His nightmare was complete in the fifth round, when he was sent sprawling across the canvas by a left hook.

Bellew said: "In the third round, I told Howard Foster: 'Stop it now!' I told him to stop it".

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