Tony Bellew stopped David Haye in the fifth to score a repeat win and move on to a potentially bigger test than what was presented.
Towards the end of the second round Bellew was seen smirking, before shrugging his shoulders and throwing his arms in the air to imply, ‘is that all you’ve got?’
The domestic battle spiced up in the third round with the Scouser stunning the 02 Arena, flooring Haye twice, including a magnificent left hook to leave the 37-year-old in disarray.
Tony Bellew gained repeat in his highly anticipated rematch with David Haye.
Bellew demolished the Londoner with the bout ending in the fifth round as referee Howard Foster intervened.
The opening two rounds went in favour of Haye, as the former two-weight champion threw a variety of quick combinations. However, the ‘Bomber’ never seemed hurt from any of the blows received.
Bellew wasn’t to be denied. Haye tasted the canvas another two times before Foster halted the fight with 46 seconds left of round 5.
Anyone who doubted Bellew’s credentials have been made to eat their words, it was a stunning performance which should give the ‘Bomber’ all the plaudits from fans and critics alike.
An emotional Bellew took to the stage, praising the 02 Arena. He said: “You’ve been amazing, whether you call me a b******, or a w*****, thank you.”
Quizzed on who he’d want next, he added: “I need that mega-star. Who you got for me Ed? Andre Ward, the p4p king. You name them and I just keep beating them. Just give me someone.”
“I’m fully healthy, Tony was the better fighter, taking nothing away from Tony Bellew, he was the better man.”
A deflated Haye saluted his foe, who has potentially ended his career for good.
He concluded: “Tony boxed a great fight, did some real clever stuff in there.
Tony is the better man, boxed to a great game plan. I couldn’t make it happen, everything happens for a reason, he was just the better boxer.
“I enjoyed the battle, as toxic as it was, Bellew is definitely my nemesis. I’ll have to review the tapes and see what went wrong.
On the undercard, the script was written and torn up at the 02 Arena this evening as James Tennyson left Martin J. Ward stunned as he added the Commonwealth and European straps to his WBA International title. The Belfast man looked down and out after hitting the canvas in the second round following a brutal body shot.
However, the 24-year-old dug deep to trade back in the third-round, hurting the Englishman followed by a sensational flurry of hooks to floor Ward before referee Victor Loughlin stepped in to end the contest.
The ‘Assassin’ is set to move up to number two in the WBA rankings and is hoping to secure a world title shot before the end of the year.
Another surprise at the 02 was the result between John Ryder and Jamie Cox. The opening round was a tight, with Cox using his jab to full effect whilst Ryder was counter punching Cox to the body.
The ‘Gorilla’ landed a shot to the temple of Cox which seemed to have had a late delay as the Brit fell to the floor seconds later. The 31-year-old took his time to get up and was counted out by the referee, to Cox’s dismay, questioning the referee’s decision.
Ryder celebrated wildly with trainer Tony Sims and has admitted he wants a world title shot at Tyrone Zeuge next.
Paul Butler was outclassed in his bout against Emmanuel Rodriguez, losing on points 120-106 and 118-108, 118-108.
The ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ was set to compete for the vacant IBF bantamweight title but missed weight on Friday meaning Rodriguez, from Puerto Rico, was the only fighter eligible to win the title.
Butler was floored twice in the opening round and busted his nose open in the fourth-round.
Rodriguez, who was in impressive form, now extends his unbeaten record to 18-0.
Meanwhile, ‘Juggernaut’ Joe Joyce wasted no time in becoming Commonwealth champion as he overpowered Lenroy Thomas in just two-rounds.
The heavy-handed heavyweight unleashed a devastating left-hook to end proceedings.
Luke Campbell stopped Troy James in the fifth-round and will now be aiming for a summer showdown with Yvan Mendy, whilst Jordan Gill continued his progression under Dave Coldwell.
The 23-year-old featherweight outpointed David Berna 60-54, whilst Kody Davies blasted out Hungarian Przemyslaw Gorgan in the opening round.