By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight contender David Haye won’t be satisfied with knocking out Tony Bellew on March 4 in their fight on Sky Box Office pay-per-view. Haye (28-2, 26 KOs) says he wants to knock Bellew out with an impressive highlight reel knockout in which he nails him with a parting shot while he’s going down. With the Bellew fights, we might see that scenario play out in this fight.
Bellew was knocked out by WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson on November 30, 2013, but it was a stoppage while he was still on his feet. Bellew was staggered in round 6 by a left hand from Stevenson. The fight was then halted by the referee. It was a good thing for Bellew though, because he was totally out on his feet and hanging on the ropes totally defenseless.
In round 5, Stevenson knocked Bellew down with a left hand to the head. To be honest, the fight was no longer competitive by the 4th round, as Stevenson began to really unload on Bellew with straight left hands to the head. Bellew had no defense for those shots because he was too slow to block them. I suspect it’ll be the same thing for Bellew when he gets inside the ring with Haye on March 4 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
“I don’t want him to quit on his stool, or go down with a body shot. I wouldn’t be happy with that,” said Haye to skysports.com. “I’m looking at hitting him, knocking him out, and hitting him as he’s going down. We’re practicing hitting a falling target. You’re not allowed to hit someone on the floor but, if they’re falling, you can hit them,” said Haye.
Well, there it is. Haye wants to nail Bellew with a shot while he’s falling down. Unless the referee is lightning fast to keep Haye from catching Bellew with a shot while he’s falling, we could see that happen in this fight.
Adonis Stevenson wasn’t allowed to finish off Bellew when he was hanging on the ropes defenseless after being hurt by him in round 6 in their fight four years ago. The referee grabbed Stevenson in a bear hug to keep him from adding the coup de grace on Bellew, who was hanging on the ropes like a spider, totally unable to put his guard up to block incoming shots. Haye will need to be lightning fast to score a highlight reel knockout, because the referee might halt the fight if Bellew falls against the ropes and just hangs on them after getting tagged.
One thing is for sure about the Haye-Bellew fight, Bellew is really up against it in this fight. He has zero experience at the heavyweight division, and he’s not looked particularly good against the mostly mediocre opposition that he’s faced at cruiserweight.
Bellew is the WBC cruiserweight champion at this time, but only because he beat a very, very vulnerable Ilunga Makabu, who the World Boxing Council put at the top of their rankings for some reason. The rankings made zero sense, as Makabu had looked terrible against Thabiso Mchunu in his previous fight.