British boxers David Haye (L) and Tony Bellew (R) exchange blows during their heavyweight boxing match at the O2 arena in London on March 4, 2017. Tony Bellew stunned bitter rival David Haye to win their eagerly-awaited heavyweight clash with an 11th round stoppage.
Justin TALLIS / AFP
Tony Bellew says he broke a hand early in his thrilling heavyweight victory over fellow Briton David Haye, who was badly hampered by a leg injury.
Haye’s corner threw in the towel in the 11th round at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday with the 36-year-old suffering a suspected Achilles injury halfway through the bout.
But surprise winner Bellew revealed he too had been hurt.
“I broke my right hand in the second or third round. It is sore now but I don’t feel the pain — all I think about is winning,” the 34-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live.
Bellew described his injured hand as being “the size of a small bowling ball”.
The build-up to the fight was dominated by trash-talking between Bellew and Haye, but they were respectful of each other afterwards and a rematch could even be on the cards.
Bellew, a cruiserweight champion who stepped up in weight to fight Haye, said he will take time to assess his future.
However, his promoter Eddie Hearn said he had already been approached by the camps of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and WBO title-holder Joseph Parker.
“I got into bed about 3.30 am, I had Deontay Wilder’s camp phoning me up, I had Joseph Parker’s camp phoning me up, both wanting to defend their world heavyweight titles against Tony Bellew. So he’s got no end of options,” Hearn said.
“He’s got big decisions to make — stay at cruiserweight, defend that, unify the division. Maybe even a rematch with David Haye or, I think more likely, to challenge for the world heavyweight title.
“Tony’s probably got another two, three, four, five fights. This is a tough sport and it’s all about securing your future and your family’s future.
“He did that in one fight last night and now it’s just a case of carrying on this Cinderella story and see how far it can take us.”