David Haye is confident of three things: he will fight again this year, he still wants it, he will be heavyweight champion again.
Many fans, and experts, felt the crippling, potentially career-ending injury Haye suffered in his March 4 fight with cruiserweight Tony Bellew would leave the former WBA heavyweight champion, at the age of 36 (37 in October) with nowhere to go but into retirement. And though it remains a mystery just how long Haye’s Achilles tear will take to heal (some predict months, others suggest weeks), Haye himself is full of optimism.
Posting a video message to his fans and supporters via Instagram, the former undisputed cruiserweight king (cruiser always being Haye’s best, most accomplished weight-class) vowed to return and “be heavyweight champion of the world once again.”
“I will be back to my very best very soon,” Haye says after thanking fans for their continued support following his 11th round TKO loss to Bellew. “I have got the best people in the world looking after me so, as soon as it is humanly possible for me to get back in the ring, I will be. We all believe that will be before the end of 2017, which is fantastic, and everyone saw how much I wanted the fight while I was in the fight. Yes, I still want I, I think I proved to everybody I did, and I am telling you all I will be heavyweight champion of the world once again. So watch this space.”
The odds are of course against Haye holding a major heavyweight belt again. It’s great that Haye, almost always involved in exciting fights, is raring to go again, but even if the healing process goes as well as can be, a win over a ranked contender (maybe Bellew in a big money-spinning return) would have to come before fans would buy a Haye world title challenge. And even then, which current champ would look at defending against Haye?
What would a Deontay Wilder or a Joseph Parker or an Anthony Joshua really get from a fight with Haye now (aside from, potentially, a very fat pay cheque)? Who knows, just maybe Haye will somehow plot a successful route back to the top and surprise us all, but again, the odds seem firmly against it.