Tony Bellew in tears over brother-in-law’s death in post-fight interview
Emotion poured out of Tony Bellew in the moments after his victory over David Haye.
Bellew hugged his trainer Dave Caldwell and as referee Howard Foster held Bellew’s winning glove aloft, the Bomber’s eyes looked to the heavens.
His brother-in-law Ashley Roberts – brother of Bellew’s wife Rachel – died on a family holiday to Mexico last year at the age of just 32.
The heavyweight even had Ashley’s name stitched into the waistband of his shorts for the fight with Haye.
After winning the fight in round five Bellew could not longer keep his emotions in check.
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During the post-fight interview in the ring, he said: “I’ve been a mess.
"(It has been) the most horrible eight months of my life.
"I’ve been my own all week.
"Each night I’ve cried.
“He’s has been on my mind since August, I miss him so much.
"His Dad was here tonight, his two brothers, I left an empty seat tonight.
"I left an empty seat and I was with him.
"It’s over and I just need to be left alone for a bit.
"I can’t put into words what I’ve been through in the last eight months, I have no words.
"You just have to get through it, I’m messed up but we’re going to get through it as a family."
Bellew said his wife Rachel couldn’t bear to watch the fight and actually went out for a run at the time of the fight, at a resort Portugal where she is currently staying.
Bellew has repeatedly stated that his wife wants him to quit the brutal sport.
So despite his crushing victory over Haye, who clearly struggled to maintain his fitness after an energetic first three rounds, Bellew said his next fight is anything but certain.
There may not even be a next fight.
"She’s (his wife) is my toughest fight. I said this would be my last one, but I know I have got to keep fighting because I live for nights like this," he said.
"That’s a real fight, persuading her if I can carry on. Rach, can I carry on?"
Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn added echoes the doubts as to whether the fighter would continue.
"You will never find anyone with a bigger heart than Tony Bellew. I promise you that," said Hearn.
"He really is an elite world-class fighter. He’s improving all the time. When he exchanges, he punches so so hard.
"But what’s next? Honestly? If he retires tomorrow, I would be the happiest man in the world. If he wants to carry on then there’s some great fights for him.
"But I am just so proud of him and everything he has been through, he deserves so much credit. He really is a great man."
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