David Haye (26-2, 24 KOs) will be walking into the ring tonight a considerable favorite to beat his hand-picked opponent Mark De Mori (30-1-2, 26 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Haye says he can’t wait to get inside the ring so that he can see how much he has left. Haye, 35, wants to show the boxing world that he’s a serious threat to the top fighters in the heavyweight division with his performance tonight against the 33-year-old De Mori.
I am not sure if Haye is going to be able to accomplish that, but he can show that he’s good enough to beat the gatekeeper level heavyweights like De Mori. For Haye to really prove something, he’s going to need to beat a much higher level heavyweight in the division.
However, it doesn’t appear that Haye will be taking any dangerous fighters until he gets a big money fight against the likes of Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury or Wladimir Klitschko. Those are the fighters that Haye is targeting for this comeback. Haye has not fought in 3 ½ years, but he doesn’t want to take things slowly with his comeback because he realizes the clock is ticking with him now 35-years-old and likely near the end of his productive years in the ring.
“I feel good. I’m heavier than I normally am,” Haye said to IFL TV. “I’m not coming in with a little too much excess blubber. I feel healthy, strong, and just as fast as I was at the lower weight, and I’m looking forward to putting on a good fight. It [his long layoff] hasn’t affected me in sparring. The reflexes are still there. You’ll have to wait and see. I could be even better. It’s one thing to say it but another thing to prove it,” Haye said.
It’s not practical to assume that Haye will be a better fighter than he was back in 2012. Haye has been out of the ring for close to four years, and a layoff like that can’t be a good thing for one’s boxing skills. Fortunately for Haye, he’s not facing someone good enough tonight to test what he has left. De Mori appears to be more of a weight lifter than an actual fighter. It’s a great showcase fight for Haye, but it likely won’t tell us about how much he has left in the tank at this point in his career.
We’re likely not going to find out how much of Haye’s skills are still there until he gets the big payday fight that he’s come back for. His first big test in his comeback will likely come against the 6’6” Joshua later this year. I might be in the minority, but I don’t believe Haye will do well against a big heavyweight like Joshua. I could be wrong though.