So what would have happened if Haye hadn't picked up that injury?
The Evertonian ground him down though and could eventually celebrate when Haye's corner threw in the towel in the 11th round.
Bellew broke his right hand during the fight.
TONY BELLEW beat David Haye in a thrilling clash at the O2.
Haye was target practice for Bellew in the seventh round and the Londoner had no balance as he needed the ropes to steady himself, Bellew extended the torture, despite Haye gritting his teeth every time he put his weight on his right foot.
Haye wants a rematch.
"I can do with him what I will".
Promoter Eddie Hearn, however, said Liverpudlian Bellew (29-2-1) would look for a title shot.
But Haye continued to edge the contest going into the sixth, a round that will go down as one of the most freaky three minutes in British boxing history.
"The public demand for me to violently knockout Tony "The Bell-End" Bellew was simply too strong", said Haye.
"Warner Brothers contact me every now and again". I hate cameras, I hate fame, but he loves all that.
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"I gave it my best shot, my best wasn't good enough tonight. I wanted to do a demolition job but this guy has got the heart of a lion". "I'm at his mercy, there is no rematch clause".
The 36-year-old also warned that his aim is "to do as much damage to [Bellew] as I can" when he takes on the WBC cruiserweight champion. "It felt like a Rocky film in there".
David Haye fought on hard after a bad ankle injury but a humble Haye didn't mention it in the post match interview.
The message was from Carl Wright, a friend of Bellew and a former fighter who was left disabled after he fell into coma following an unsuccessful challenge for the British light-welterweight title in 1997.
But since then he has become a WBC cruiserweight king at the home of his beloved Everton and now beaten a man many expected to regain a world heavyweight title.
"I looked at Shane McGuigan and said "stop it".
Reacting to his defeat - one which leaves 34-year-old Haye's boxing future in doubt - the Hayemaker made no excuse in what was a vast contrast to the pre-fight animosity shared between the two fights.
From the first round it was a flurry of punches, with Bellew getting the better if it, landing left hooks to remind Haye he was facing a different opponent. Haye was beating Bellew with his jab alone through 5 rounds.
What followed was extraordinary, with Haye barely able to walk for the rest of the fight. Bellew took over, and ended up winning based off the injury.
Obviously, there are other options available to him at cruiserweight but they all seem highly unlikely at this stage. "He gets a lot of admiration from me from a sportsman's perspective".
"I think we could bring Wilder of Parker to the UK". I think Hearn is just throwing their names out there without him being serious about wanting to make those fights.