Boxing: Haye proves himself a cut above Italian

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The Independent Online

David Haye was cut above the left eye and looked exhausted before he found the final punches to drop and stop the previously unbeaten Giacobbe Fragomeni in the ninth round of a brutal European cruiserweight title fight at York Hall, Bethnal Green, last night.

It was Haye's third defence and his 19th fight and by far it was the most demanding so far of a career that now finally looks like it will end up going where it promised to go so many years ago.

From the opening bell it was obvious that Fragomeni, who beat Haye as an amateur seven years ago, was determined to push the British boxer back to take away any height and reach advantages. Haye was winning the rounds but the Italian in many ways was shaping and controlling the fight.

In round seven with Haye possibly two or three rounds in front, a short right landed on the side of his left eye and a nasty cut opened. His Italian opponent took control and it looked like Haye was in real danger of losing.

But in round eight Haye regained his composure and in the ninth he initiated the end with a series of shots to the stomach and, with two or three rights, finally sent Fragomeni to the canvas.