LONDON: David Haye settled his grudge showdown with Dereck Chisora with an exciting fifth round stoppage of his British heavyweight rival in front of over 30,000 supporters at Upton Park on Saturday.
Former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Haye twice floored Chisora with left hooks in the fifth round and when his rival was deposited on the canvas for a second time, the fight was stopped by referee Luis Pabon.
Haye improved to 25 wins – 24 by stoppage – and two defeats while Chisora suffered his fourth defeat in his 19th fight, and his fourth setback in his last five bouts.
Haye captured the minor World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International heavyweight titles for winning this controversial clash that boxing authorities tried to ban.
After settling a festering feud that began with a public punch-up earlier this year, the pair hugged and made up after the end of their explosive encounter.
Haye hopes the impressive display will increase calls for him to face World Boxing Council (WBC) title-holder Vitali Klitschko.
“I've sent out a very scary message. I'll be surprised if Vitali Klitschko wants to fight me after that. He will no doubt try to fight some chump and then retire to be a politician,” said Haye.
Klitschko, 40, is due to face Syrian Manuel Charr on September 10 and could then retire to concentrate on a full-time political career.
Haye's hope is Klitschko will be tempted by one more lucrative pay-day as the Ukrainian's younger brother Wladimir has said he is not interested in a rematch with the Briton.
Whatever the significance of his latest victory, it would have been immensely satisfying for Haye after the brawl with his bitter rival, incessant trash talk over the last six months and public condemnation of the pair for their behaviour.
That the fight took place at all was an outrage to some, including the British Boxing Board of Control that tried to ban the bout.
Neither boxer held a British boxing license following their brawl at a post-fight press conference in Munich in February, but the Board's opposition has counted for nothing.
The Luxembourg Boxing Federation licensed the bitter rivals so they could finish what they started in Munich, in what was the biggest all-British heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno 19 years ago.
Chisora, as expected, was the one burrowing forward early in the fight and Haye was able to catch him his flicking jab and other silky shots in the second.
Zimbabwe-born Chisora, who went the distance with Vitali Klitschko in February, looked to rough up Haye when he got the chance at close range was warned by referee Pabon in the second for clubbing the back of the head.
But Haye was also dangerous in the clinches, and violently jolted Chisora's head back with a right uppercut in a lively third.
Later in the third, Chisora landed a slashing right to the temple and then went on the attack with clubbing blows towards the end of the round.
The fighters could not hear the bell for the end of the third round through the din and Chisora landed a meaty left hook before then barging into Haye.
The fourth was even better. It started with a right hook to the temple that hurt Chisora, who then found himself trapped in the corner.
Chisora was allowed to recover and he then startled Haye with a sudden attack of two left hooks and a right.
But Haye maintained control before producing two huge left hooks to chop down Chisora in the fifth.
Chisora was already falling from the first left to the temple when Haye sent him down with a right.
Chisora got to his feet at the count of seven but he was subjected to a frenzied attack, surviving one vicious uppercut before being caught by another swinging left hook, this time to the chin, which ended the fight a second before the end of the fifth round.