WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew says he broke his hand early in Saturday night’s heavyweight victory over David Haye in London.
Haye suffered an Achilles injury in the sixth round and was knocked down in the 11th to give the 34-year-old Liverpudlian a surprise win.
“I broke my right hand in the second or third round,” Bellew told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.
“It is sore now but I don’t feel the pain – all I think about is winning.”
Bellew, who described his injured hand as being ‘the size of a small bowling ball’, says he now wants time to reassess his options.
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“We will sit down and I need a few days to take on board what I have done because it doesn’t feel real at the minute,” he added.
Speaking after the fight, Bellew said he had feared for Haye’s safety during the bout and asked the heavyweight and his corner to end the fight at the O2 Arena before he scored the stoppage.
The Londoner, 36, went for surgery on his Achilles after the bout.
“Just before the stoppage I looked at David and said ‘stop now’,” said Bellew. “He shook his head.
“He went beyond the call of duty.”
Big decisions to make
Promoter Eddie Hearn, speaking on Sportsweek, said that representatives of both American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and WBO champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand had contacted him about the possibility of taking on Bellew.
“Tony’s got big decisions to make – stay at cruiserweight, defend that, unify the division. Maybe even a rematch with David Haye or, I think more likely, to challenge for the world heavyweight title,” he said.
“Why can’t he beat Wilder or Parker? I believe he can and two world titles would secure his legacy.”
After the fight Bellew labelled boxing a “freak show” in which he was happy to play the “pantomime”, but when asked why he would not bow out now, he said any offer for his next fight “would be too big” to turn down.
The WBC cruiserweight champion defied most pre-fight predictions to win on his heavyweight bow but told reporters this would be his final 12 months as a fighter.
“There’s a certain number of times you can keep doing this and it’s not many more times I’ll be honest,” added Bellew, who now has 29 wins and a draw from 32 fights.
“This circus is going to keep following me now. I don’t actually like all this, I’ve grown to hate it. I’m not a perfect person, I make bad moves and bad mistakes in my life, I just want to be left alone now and enjoy time with my kids.”
Bellew’s trainer Dave Coldwell added: “I would be happy if he walked away. He won a world title, he secured his family’s future, so for me, I would be happy if he said ‘that’s us done’.”
A rematch with Haye was briefly mentioned in the ring but Hearn appeared cold at the prospect, stating the former WBA heavyweight champion’s camp had no desire to insert a rematch clause before the bout.
Bellew added: “The biggest one-punching heavyweight in the world couldn’t put a dent in me. There’s a new sheriff in town.”
A message for the board
Bellew was moved to tears when explaining a video chat with his son before the fight where he was urged to “come home safe”.
Controversial comments from both fighters, including Haye’s graphic descriptions of the harm he hoped to cause his rival, had marred fight week.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) will discuss the acrimonious build-up next week.
Hearn said that there was no place in the sport for a lot of the things which were said to Bellew.
“David Haye was told time and time again by us, by the BBBofC and Sky Sports to refrain from using those kind of words,” he said.
“We saw it at the first press conference where he threw a punch at Bellew. In every public event we put on after that we put measures in place and never let them within an arms’ length of each other.
“In that respect he behaved. But from a verbal respect some of the things he said were disgusting.
“I’m sure the BBBofC will deal with that.”