Trainer Dave Coldwell said the personal jibes thrown at him by David Haye’s camp made victory by his man Tony Bellew all the more sweeter.
Bellew earned a surprise triumph over the former world heavyweight champion at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night, bringing to an end a bitter rivalry.
Kind words, handshakes and hugs followed the fight with the war in the ring generating renewed respect between the two men.
But Rotherham trainer Coldwell was delighted to get one over on the Haye camp.
Coldwell was head of boxing for Haye’s Hayemaker organisation in the past but was dismissed as ‘a little rat of a coach’ in the build-up.
Despite the barbs from Haye, his trainer Shane McGuigan said Coldwell should have more respect for the former two-weight world champion.
With emotions high on Saturday night, Coldwell declared the triumph as better than the night when Bellew became WBC cruiserweight champion at Everton’s Goodison Park.
“This was the best fight of my career – the best,” Coldwell told Sky Sports.
“Goodison means more because of what it meant to Tony but this was the best because of what it meant for me.
“Winning the world title at your favourite football club is unreal but because of the personal stuff they threw at me, this makes this so, so good.”
Bellew took charge of the fight in the middle rounds and Haye’s efforts were severley diminished after he suffered an ankle injury.
Haye’s corner threw in the towel in the 11th round as he cause became hopeless – much to Coldwell’s delight.
He said: “All week, I didn’t get personal, everything I said was factual.
“And as I said in the build-up, there is always and excuse for Haye and there was an excuse tonight.
“But that doesn’t matter. David came over to shake my hand straight away and said well done.
“I was so happy and now we can brush it all under the carpet.”
Coldwell has trained Bellew in his Rotherham gym since 2014. Since that time the Liverpudlian fighter has won WBO International and European titles plus avenged defeat to bitter rival Nathan Cleverly.