Retirement has to be next for David Haye but what about Tony Bellew?

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While David Haye is considering retirement after he dramatically lost in the fifth round to Tony Bellew on Saturday night, the Liverpudlian’s reputation is at an all-time high.

Here, we explore each fighter’s potential next move.

DAVID HAYE

Retirement

Aged 37, increasingly injury-prone and following successive defeats to an opponent who was a light-heavyweight while he was at his peak and the WBA heavyweight champion, Haye has run out of options.

In his two pay-per-view fights with Bellew he would have been paid well, but he proved shot, and the damage done to his reputation means he will no longer be able to command the money he would expect to fight on.

Regardless, as his latest defeat demonstrated, he no longer has the reflexes and speed which once made him such a fine fighter, and would have to reinvent his fighting style – which is that of a young man – if he is to stand any chance of succeeding. There looks to be no way back.

David Haye

TONY BELLEW

Retirement

The 35-year-old has secured his financial future since achieving his ambitions of fighting at Goodison Park and winning a world title.

His two fights with Haye, at heavyweight, also means he no longer has the title he won at cruiserweight to defend.

Given he is unlikely to achieve anything new, there is no better time for him to retire.

Return to cruiserweight

Bellew’s natural division is thriving because of the World Boxing Super Series and in his absence, the emergence of Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk and Russia’s Murat Gassiev – that competition’s finalists – would present significant challenges.

He would also be the underdog against each, and risk undermining his recent successes.

Tony Bellew

Remain at heavyweight

By his own admission, Bellew is not a natural among the world’s biggest fighters, and has long insisted he only fought Haye because he too was once a cruiserweight.

When asked about the two world heavyweight champions, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, he says they are too big and powerful for him.

The heavyweight division is where he can earn the greatest money, but he would need to be matched very carefully.

Pursue Andre Ward

Bellew mentioned Ward – presently in retirement – as a potential opponent. Ward has won world titles at both super-middleweight and light-heavyweight, so even with his extraordinary skills, he would not prove too big an opponent for Bellew.

If the American could be tempted to return and fight in the UK, Bellew may yet enjoy one last big night.

Andre Ward

Provided by Press Association Sport

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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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