LIVERPOOL, England — British boxer Tony Bellew easily retained his WBC world cruiserweight title on Saturday night with a third-round stoppage of BJ Flores.

Bellew had his American challenger down on the canvas three times in the second round, but each time Flores beat the count.

Immediately after the fight, the 33-year-old Bellew jumped out of the ring to confront David Haye, who was in attendance at ringside and has been touted as Bellew’s next opponent.

Flores had some early success with the jab and body combination against Bellew but the champion, making his first defence, finished the first round strongly and carried that into round two.

Bellew soon had Flores on the canvas, triggering a complaint to the referee about a low blow.

Bellew took full advantage of Flores’ loss of focus and floored him again.

Flores was then down for a third time but once more he regained his feet and made it to the third round.

Bellew, fighting in front of a home crowd, threw a flurry of body shots and haymakers and the challenger simply could not handle his power.

A big left hook proved to be the last act as Flores was knocked down again and the referee stopped the fight.

VIAThe Associated Press
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