David Haye is hoping to get a rematch with Tony Bellew, as he wants his rivalry with him to be one of the greats in the history of boxing.
Tony Bellew shocked the world when he stopped David Haye in the 11th round, forcing his corner to throw in the towel.
The London boxer suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the sixth round and even though he is facing months of rehabilitation, he is already dreaming of a second and third fight with Bellew.
Bellew admits retirement is “an option” but Haye, who is targeting a return in “six-to-nine months”, said: “I’ve got a feeling after sharing a ring with him face-to-face, locking horns with him, that he’s a real fighting man.
“Not often do you find your nemesis, the guy that in 50 years time people will look back and say ‘remember the Bellew-Haye days, what crazy fights they were?’
“The way people look at Micky Ward-Arturo Gatti, at Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard, at Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali. They had such amazing fights, and maybe Tony Bellew would like some of that.”
“What we say in the lead-up to fights is one thing,” Haye said. “But once you go to war with someone, and in that life-and-death situation you can see this guy wants it as much as you, you have a different type of respect.
“I didn’t know him that well as a person. I had my preconceived ideas, but after sharing a ring with him he’s a true warrior like I am.
“I’m in the sport to compete with other warriors. He said if he was to win he’d give me a rematch. I thought it was laughable, but he found a way to win and hopefully he’s a man of his word.
“I’ll do the same. If the rematch happens and I beat him, I’ll give him a third fight.”
Haye insists he will return to the ring regardless of what Bellew decides. He said: “I truly hope he doesn’t, but if he was to retire I’d carry on my path to become No 1 in the world. I’ll find a way to challenge for the heavyweight title.”