Tony Bellew defends WBC world cruiserweight title by stopping BJ Flores

By Nate WilliamsBBC Sport at the Echo Arena
Tony Bellew and David Haye
David Haye (bottom third from right) looked on smiling as Tony Bellew addressed him from the ring after the fight

Tony Bellew defended his WBC world cruiserweight title by knocking out BJ Flores in three rounds - and then called out David Haye.

The Liverpudlian dropped his American opponent three times with his signature left hook in round two in Liverpool.

After falling a fourth time, Flores refused to answer the referee's count.

A triumphant Bellew, 33, then taunted Haye, saying: "I've smashed your mate, your playboy buddy, and I will smash you exactly the same way."

The champion added: "I'm the biggest payday you'll get."

Tony Bellew puts BJ Flores on the canvas
Bellew stopped Flores for the first time in the American's career

Bellew was fighting for the first time since securing the belt against Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park in May.

And after ending the fight in the third to improve his record to 28 wins with 18 knockouts in 31 fights, Bellew said: "I'm not called the Bomber for nothing."

He also verbally abused fellow Briton Haye, the former WBA world heavyweight champion, who had been shouting instructions and supporting his friend and sparring partner Flores.

Bellew then climbed through the ropes shouting "you're next".

He addressed Haye in front of the Echo Arena crowd and continued taunting the 36-year-old, who was the former unified cruiserweight world champion.

"Those two guys you just fought were a joke and you're robbing everybody who pays to come to the arena," Bellew said.

"Listen, you predicted BJ was going to beat me, didn't you? You predicted he was going to beat me. He got smashed. And you're going to get smashed too.

"You know what, with 10oz gloves on boy, I'll put you and that pathetic haircut to sleep.

"Listen SpongeBob Squarepants, I'll deal with you in a boxing ring, you've got this big aura around yourself, I don't care."

Earlier on the undercard, Luke Campbell stopped Liverpool's Derry Mathews in the fourth round with two stinging body shots to retain his WBC silver lightweight title.

Tony Bellew and David Haye
Bellew's first reaction after the fight was stopped was to seek out former cruiserweight world champion Haye
Tony Bellew and David Haye
Then, after leaving the ring to confront his rival, Bellew was restrained by his entourage, before abusing Haye once more from the ring

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