Haye vs Bellew: Memories from David Haye and Tony Bellew's fight
Key moments remembered by each fighter
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 12/03/17 2:25pm
The dust has settled. David Haye and Tony Bellew provide their memories of how last week's fight played out...
Where did your pre-fight confidence come from?
Haye: I questioned his chin, his durability and his size. I would have bet my life that I wouldn't lose the fight, it was the last thing I anticipated.
Bellew: I saw the chinks. In the moment that you take David's best, he falls apart mentally. He's done it throughout his career. He hit Carl Thompson with the kitchen sink but when Carl didn't fall apart, David fell apart. David is very superstitious.
What was your game plan?
Bellew: I was the quickest fighter David had ever faced, and nobody took that into consideration. Sometimes I circled towards the right hand because I knew he has to twitch before he throws. When he twitched, I rolled, I slipped. When I hit him clean, I dropped.
Not to look great in the early rounds, or in any part of this fight. Nullify him, make him reach, make him miss, make him pay when he leaves himself open.
Haye: I wanted to do a demolition job but this guy has the heart of a lion. I've knocked out people a lot bigger, a lot stronger. I didn't expect him to have that durability.
Did he hurt you?
Haye: No. But maybe he didn't hit me with his best shots - I've got a good defence, I slip and slide, and I didn't let him put a barrage together. The shots that knocked out BJ Flores, I didn't allow.
At no stage was I out on my feet. There was no one shot that shook my to my boots, or made my legs wobble.
Bellew: A couple of times. He was very fast, very powerful and hit me with the best that he had - everyone is forgetting this. He had two fine legs, and two fine hands, for the first five rounds.
Who was more tired in the later rounds?
Bellew: Watch the end of the fifth round, before anything is wrong with his Achilles. I say: 'you are blowing, it's over for you!' He looks at me in amazement. The eyes never lie.
He knew, at the end of the fifth, he was done. He was prepared for a two-round blow-out, and when that didn't happen, his mind was lost.
Haye: No matter what happened in this fight, fitness-wise I was still throwing bombs until the end. I was fitter than I've ever been. I didn't feel tired. I could feel how tired he was, but I didn't have the legs to capitalise.
Who was winning on the score-cards after five rounds?
Bellew: I thought I won the first, I thought I lost a few. I made him pay time and time again - little body shots, clips around the side of the head. When we got close I roughed him up. At the end of the fourth, the tide had turned firmly in my favour.
Your memories of the Achilles injury...
Haye: It felt like my leg went into a bear-trap, like the floor opened up and bit me.
I couldn't control my foot. It was frantic in the corner, people not knowing what to do.
Bellew: I had no idea he was injured - I thought he was tiring, round-by-round. If I knew he was injured I would have really put my foot on the gas.
Your memories of the fight's conclusion...
Haye: I thought 'I've got to get up'. I thought I'd hit him with an uppercut because he would rush in, to finish me, then I'd knock him out. Obviously, the towel came in.
Bellew: When I stopped him, and put him through the ropes, I knew what I'd done to him.
I'd taken everything away from him. I destroyed him, demolished him, and carried him back to his corner.
Was the towel thrown in too early, or too late?
Haye: I believe Shane gave me ample time to turn the fight around - five rounds, basically. I had to do something to change the flow of the fight. I did a couple of times, I landed some big shots that hurt him, but I couldn't close the range to finish him off. I wish the towel didn't come in, and I wish he didn't do it. But he did it, and I respect his opinion.
If Shane threw the towel in, he saw something. Maybe he wanted to save me for another day. I trust his opinion, I back him.
Bellew: I said to him in the 11th 'David, stop, just stop'. I saw him buckle. I looked at Shane McGuigan and I said 'stop it'.
Your post-fight feelings...
Haye: I didn't think he'd be able to go through what he went through, and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. We won't be going on holiday to Miami anytime soon together.
Bellew: I saw a man hurt, and I wanted to help. Had David done to me what he said he would, he would have ridiculed me.