Tony Bellew won the Battle of Britain after repeating his knockout victory over David Haye in their heavyweight rematch at The O2.
Bellew, 35, floored Haye twice in the third round and the fight was waved off in the fifth for a second successive stoppage victory for the Merseysider.
With his boxing future at stake, Haye, 37, sauntered to the ring with no sign of apprehension, and donned headphones while Bellew marched through the crowd to his ‘Z-Cars’ entrance theme.
Former heavyweight champion Haye had promised to deliver a ‘clinical performance’ and he began the fight on the front foot, stabbing out a swift jab, and ended the opening round with a crisp right hand.
Bellew, on the back foot, seemed to be waiting for his moment to counter in the second, but Haye scored the major point with a thunderous right hand.
But all the opening buzz ended in the third round as Bellew floored Haye heavily in the corner as they traded hooks at close range.
A wobbly Haye could not keep Bellew at bay after injuring his leg when he crumpled to the canvas after another flurry of shots.
Sensing his advantage, Bellew tried to force the finish in the fourth, pumping out punches as Haye stumbled gingerly around the ring.
But the inevitable end came in the fifth as Haye was dropped heavily after another brutal combination, forcing referee Howard Foster to stop signal the end of the fight.
Haye will now be forced to consider retirement, while Bellew can look forward to bigger fights in the months to come.