Tony Bellew exited the ring for the final time last night distraught after being knocked out by Oleksandr Usyk.
Bellew suffered an eighth round KO against the Ukranian in what will be his last outing as a boxer, and while his quest to become the first Briton to hold four world titles in a weight division was unsuccessful, he put in a display full of quality and guts that has earned plenty of admiration up and down the country.
In fact, at the time of the stoppage Bellew was winning the fight on points according to many pundits and the judges, such was his success early on.
But the intensity was too difficult to sustain beyond six rounds and as the 35-year-old became more drained, his Ukrainian opponent became stronger.
And although Bellew did perform so well in those opening exchanges, Dillian Whyte - who was ringside - believes he actually should have done more.
The British heavyweight boxer felt that the Bellew should have had adopted a slightly more cynical strategy early on in the bout.
“Tony should have roughed him up, Tony should have just said you know what, f**k boxing, let’s have a go, roughed him up, charge him into the ropes, smash his head in, whatever he could,” he told iFL TV.
"I thought he boxed him too clean and too long."
“He’s done well, he’s done his-self [sic] proud, you can never fault him, and he went out actually fighting, he didn’t come in there pick up his pay cheque and just quit, he went out fighting.”
With Whyte due to fight Dereck Chisora on December 22, this could be a clue as to how he plans to approach the fight against Zimbabwe-born rival.
Bellew paid homage to Usyk in the post-fight interview and warned his future opponents:
“Heavyweights stay away, he takes a great shot and I don't even know if I hurt him.”