David Haye to consider retirement following rematch defeat to Tony Bellew

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David Haye will consider retirement after his career was left in ruins following his dramatic defeat by Tony Bellew.

The former WBA heavyweight champion proved shot beyond doubt when, in their rematch at London’s O2 Arena, he was dropped three times before being stopped in the fifth round.

At 37 Haye’s punch resistance and once fine footwork was gone, and to the extent that he struggled and became desperate from the moment Bellew landed the explosive right hand that changed their fight in the third round.

He had previously recognised he would have no choice but to retire if he again lost to a fighter who was a light-heavyweight when he was a world champion and at his peak, and will struggle to secure the financial opportunities his reputation once demanded.

Under his new trainer Ismael Salas and until the first knockdown he was winning and had improved on the poor performance he had produced when losing last March.

But, of his future, he told talkSPORT: “I’ll have to go back and review exactly what happened then make a decision. It’s never good to make a decision when everything is up in the air.

“Tony boxed better than I did, plain and simple, and the better man won.

“Nobody can say they didn’t get a good night’s entertainment. They definitely got their money’s worth, but the better man won on the night, Tony Bellew, so congratulations to him.”

Bellew, the former WBC cruiserweight champion, was again considered the underdog but is enjoying the finest run of his career.

Despite struggling until the knockdown, the 35-year-old said: “I was waiting for the perfect moment. I’m a clever cat. Not bad for a fat Scouser. I’m a clever man, I have brains, I have skills. I know what I can do.

“Doubt me now. Doubt me now, you fools.

“You all judge me on aesthetically how I look. You all judge me, just because I am a little fat Scouser.”

Bellew had since their first fight suffered the death of his brother-in-law Ashley Roberts, and having also spoken of his desire to fight the great Andre Ward, he said: “(It has been) the most horrible eight months of my life.

“(My wife) is my toughest fight. I said this would be my last one, but I know I have got to keep fighting because I live for nights like this.”

His promoter Eddie Hearn added: “If he retires tomorrow, I would be the happiest man in the world. If he wants to carry on then there’s some great fights for him.

“But I am just so proud of him and everything he has been through, he deserves so much credit. He really is a great man.”

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Rio Ferdinand refused professional boxing licence

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No boxing gloves: Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has been refused a professional Boxing licence, the former Manchester United and England defender revealed on Thursday.

Ferdinand, who retired from football in 2015, vowed to launch a career as a professional boxer last September.


The 39-year-old stated it was his intention to challenge for a belt, but the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) has told him it will not be reviewing his application.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Ferdinand said: “Having been training 4-5 times a week since announcing the aim of achieving a professional Boxing licence and stepping into the ring, it is with a heavy heart that I am hanging up my gloves on Betfair’s Defender to Contender challenge.

“Despite having never felt better physically or mentally, after notifying the British BoxingBoard of Control of my intention to apply for a licence, I have received confirmation that they would not be reviewing my application at this point in time.

“To say I’m disappointed by this decision is an understatement.”

Ferdinand had been coached by Richie Woodhall, the former WBC super-middleweight champion.

He added: “To not be given the chance to demonstrate my ability to the BBBoC through the standard assessment afforded to others is hard to take.

“Boxing is a physically tough, demanding and dangerous sport. I always gave it my utmost respect and never underestimated how difficult it would be.

“I wanted to show people that it’s OK to have a goal and strive to reach it. It’s important to approach everything with success in mind, and to give it your all, but sometimes things work against you.”

Ferdinand won the Premier League title on six occasions with Manchester United and was capped by England 81 times. He now works as a pundit for BT Sport.

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Tyson Fury insists he would not attempt a comeback if he didn't think he could defeat Anthony Joshua

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Tyson Fury insists he would not be attempting a comeback if he thought he was unable to defeat world heavyweight champion and British rival Anthony Joshua.

Personal issues and legal troubles have kept Fury out of the ring since November 2015, when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, IBF and WBO titles which are all now in Joshua’s possession.

Fury will resume his unbeaten professional career on June 9 at the Manchester Arena against an as-yet unnamed opponent, with all roads leading to an eventual showdown with Joshua.

Asked whether he believes he can defeat Joshua, Fury told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Of course I do or I wouldn’t be sat here today. I’d be off in Spain drinking a sangria somewhere.

“Of course I think I have the ability, I just think I have too much movement and natural boxing skill to lose to somebody like that. He’s very tough and strong and he has a lot of learned ability but he doesn’t have the natural gift of the sweet science.

“I’m very proud of what he’s done, he’s achieved a lot in the sport and he’s an inspiration to young people coming through. But hold on to the throne because I’ll be taking it back. Everyone in heavyweight boxing know who the real champion is.”

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