Broken hand for Bellew and surgery for Haye after bruising battle
Tony Bellew revealed yesterday that he had broken his hand in the dramatic victory over David Haye. He said he had now "achieved everything I'd got into boxing for" but the cruiserweight world champion could yet be tempted to challenge for a world heavyweight title.
It is understood, meanwhile, that Haye, underwent surgery yesterday on a ruptured Achilles injury which occurred in the sixth round at the sold-out O2 Arena in London. It could be the end of Haye's career, with an injury that often takes up to a year to recover from. It is certainly hard to see where the former world heavyweight champion goes from here.
Haye fought the early rounds looking as if he knew he was injured, swinging wildly, but his timing was awry. When Haye did land, Bellew, significantly, took his punches, ending the fight with a left hook which sent Haye through the ropes in the 11th round, followed with alacrity by a towel hurled into the ring from the corner.
Haye (36) was taken straight to hospital after the fight, but was later released.
"We both got injuries," said Bellew, with the two men showing a new respect after an ugly, malice-ridden build-up. "I broke my right hand in the second or third round. It's very sore now."
Bellew condemned Haye's threats in the build-up, saying: "I know there's been a lot of bad blood and I think some of the things he said were disgusting and distasteful but it was purely one way."
Bellew will take time to assess whether to defend his WBC cruiserweight title or remain at heavyweight and seek to become a two-weight world champion.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed he had already been approached by the camps of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, of the USA, and WBO champion Joseph Parker, of New Zealand.
Hearn said: "Both wanted to defend their world heavyweight titles against Tony Bellew. He's got big decisions to make - stay at cruiserweight, defend that, unify the division. Maybe even a rematch with David Haye or, 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 Man story and see how far it can take us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)