Tony Bellew blasts referee after third-round knockdown

Tony Bellew stops David Haye in fifth round of rematch

Bellew dropped Haye twice in round three. After coming through an early examination of his patience, he felled Haye twice in the third round and again in the fifth with a flawless left hook, ecstatic when the referee rescued his dazed foe on the ropes, physically upright but spiritually bowed. But Saturday's bout at London's O2 Arena rarely looked like lasting as long. Haye was seeking to take back the pace of the fight with his jab, however, he was still getting countered by the now patient Bellew.

David Haye is yet to make a decision about retirement, despite his second successive defeat to Tony Bellew in their heavyweight rematch. I told him "Stop the fight". But speed decreases with age.

While he did get back to his feet, Bellew could sense the finish and stepped in with a nice combination, landing at will, before the referee was forced to step in and stop the fight. "I know people think I'm insane, but I know I can do it".

He knows it inside out, mentally, physically and historically, and that goes beyond the repeat win over David Haye.

Bellew admitted a fight with Fury would have to be soon in order to capitalise as the former WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion ends a spell of over two years out of the ring on 9 June.

"I didn't feel that great in there".

No, I'm fully healthy, he said.

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Bellew paid an emotional tribute to his late brother-in-law, who died last August, immediately after his victory. David Coldwell is a great coach, a great man and Tony Bellew, I take my hat off to him.

Ward, 34, retired with a flawless 32-fight record in September and was regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world having won world titles at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight.

'I'll have to review the tapes, I was bettered tonight, ' Haye said. Everything happens for a reason. Styles make fights. He is BHop [Bernard Hopkins, who retired at 51 in 2016] but 20 years younger. Haye is the more active fighter in the first round. Bellew, from Liverpool, shattered that dream, but his future is also uncertain because a world title shot is unlikely this year.

Bellew was only a light-heavyweight when Haye was at the peak of his career as the World Boxing Association heavyweight champion.

"What about Andre Ward, pound-for-pound king?" I want to beat them. "It's been a great journey, but I don't know where it goes".

The victor of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight final between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev would be a tantalising prospect with all the belts on the line, but the fight would not offer a huge financial incentive. "I need a megastar". Haye connects with a couple of short left uppercuts that momentarily put Bellew to the ropes. It came in the first round but fizzled out by the third.

Bellew was starting to get comfortable in the third round and then landed a vicious punch that knocked down Haye with just seconds remaining in the third round. The bell saved Haye from further punishment that round and he tried to regroup in the fourth. Moments later, it was a smashing left hook to the jaw that sent "The Hayemaker" to the canvas.

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