‘David Haye was appearing on the new series of The Clare Balding Show which airs tomorrow at 8.00pm on BT Sport 1.’
David Haye — On coming back to boxing: Yes, since I was a kid I said I wanted to be the heavyweight champion of the world and I did that by beating a big massive giant guy. En route to doing that I won the undisputed cruiserweight champion, the weight below heavyweight, because I’m not the biggest guy, I won all the world title belts at that and then went up and fought the really big guys but I still feel I have more to give.
Although I have achieved my goal which was to be the heavyweight champion, I want to do it again and I want to win all the belts. A lot of boxers come back after a loss but my last fight was a victory and the only reason I have been out for so long is because I’ve had injury so I’ve been really unfortunate in the injury department so I’m healthy now and I want to get back in there and crack on.
On injuries and training
I found my motivation, yes. Because I was injured, for instance I had a big operation on my shoulder and my arm was in this position in a cast for six months. I got depressed, I was just sitting on the beach. Once you’ve laid on a beach for so long you get kind of bored and I’ve spent a lot of time on the beach in the last three and a half years, the novelty wears off after a while. I’ve got stuff to achieve and I’m sitting on the beach on the phone watching the other fighters winning fights and thinking I could beat that guy, let’s get off the beach and get back in the gym.
Yes, I am in perfect shape, yes. I am healthy, punching, sparring, everything is going great, I feel as good as I’ve felt in the last five or six years for sure, even when I was competing I feel better now. The three and a half years I’ve had out has given my body time to rejuvenate, recover because I was carrying lots of knee injuries over the years and by not getting the ring and pounding myself in training constantly, it has given me a good opportunity to heal and come back brand new. I’m a different shape, I’m 35 years of age now but I think I’m a young 35, I haven’t taken that much punishment. A lot of fighters at 35 have had ten world title fights, hard rounds, hard fights – I’ve only been the distance twice in my whole boxing career and I haven’t been battered or bashed up so in terms of miles on the clock I’m in a good place so I feel this next phase in my career or the final phase of my career, I can go through it and win all of the world titles I get in the fights for.
On Fighting at the O2
I think there are 16,000 and I think we’ve sold 14,000 so far and I’m really happy with that, particularly being after Christmas. They said it was a really terrible time to put a boxing match on, in mid-January when nobody has any money from Christmas because everyone’s broke but a few people have still got some money left over and they’ve come down and it’s going to be amazing. I grew up round the corner from the O2 arena, a stone’s throw away from Bermondsey where I was born and bred and I won my first unification fight at the O2 arena against Enzo Maccarinelli in 2008 and that for me, walking out there, the electricity of the crowd, south London, it was absolutely fantastic and after three and a half years out to go back there again and pack out the place and put on another good performance against a top ten ranked fighter, a guy who hasn’t lost in eleven years, he was talking about knocking me out and doing all sorts of horrible things to me.
His message to Mark
He hasn’t lost in over a decade and he has knocked out the same amount of fighters that I’ve beaten and he’s ranked top ten in the world so there are positive things about him. I hope training has gone really good and you’re feeling positive about 16th, I’m excited too and I’m sure everyone at the O2 arena are going to be thrilled by us really going at it. I know you’re the Dominator and you really want to dominate me but unfortunately, I’m going to rip out the Haymaker and get you down for the count.
On controversy between fighters
You have got two options you can go down. You can go down, ‘De Mori, you’re a great guy, you have nice hair, you use Pantene’ and no one is going to want to see me fight if I’m just stroking his hair, no one wants to see that. Or I can say I want to kick his head off his …, kick his head off, rip his head off blah-blah-blah and people think, oh he really wants to have a fight and the pay per view numbers really do affect if there is a genuine beef then if there is a fake don’t really care about each other. The fights that have sold the best are normally grudge fights, everyone loves a grudge match, if you are in a bar or wherever, in a park, you see two people screaming at each other, instinctively you want to see that. You see two people playing with each other, you’re not interested in that so it is an instinctive thing to see two people fighting with each other whether you are a violent person or not, it’s just instinct and that’s why I think the grudge fights sell so well and that’s why I like to pick an opponent that doesn’t like me and wants to do me some harm. People want to see us smashed out.
On the best opponent he’s faced
Jean Marc Mormeck. He’s the guy I fought for the world title at cruiserweight, none of his fights have been shown in the UK but for me had the most awkward style and he’s who I won my first world title off. It was really horrible, a hard fight for me, I won it, I got knocked down and got up and won it. It wasn’t a big fight over here, it was squashed between a Ricky Hatton and Calzaghe fight and no one saw my fight but for me that was probably the toughest.
Haye vs De Mori on UKTV
UKTV has landed the exclusive UK rights for former boxing world champion David Haye’s long-awaited comeback fight. The match will be shown on UKTV’s flagship free-to-air entertainment channel, Dave, live from the O2 on Saturday 16 January at 9pm. David Haye, the former world champion in two different weight categories, is returning to professional boxing with a heavyweight bout against Australia’s Mark De Mori. Haye’s comeback fight will be his first since defeating Dereck Chisora at Upton Park over three years ago and sees Haye take on a top 10 WBA ranked heavyweight in De Mori, who boasts a record of 30 wins (26 KOs), and only one defeat, since turning pro in 2004. De Mori is undefeated since September 2004 and most recently claimed a first round knock-out of Germany’s Marcel Zeller in October.
In addition to the live match, Dave is also showing a special half-hour preview show Haye v De Mori: The Countdown, the night before, on Friday 15th January at 8pm featuring the build up to the fight, the story of the preparation and the reason why David wants to stage a comeback.
Live Boxing: David Haye v Mark De Mori (TBC) will be shown live from the O2 and has been ordered by UKTV director of commissioning Richard Watsham and Dave general manager Steve North. The two-hour special (9pm – 11pm) will include highlights from the day’s boxing at the O2, live music performances and live studio discussions plus all the action from the ringside.
Richard Watsham said, “We are quickly establishing UKTV as a network able to handle attention grabbing live events, from the Python’s last ever performance – Monty Python Live (Mostly) for Gold through Really’s Halloween spectacular Most Haunted Live to Dave’s ratings success, the Red Bull Soapbox Race. Our ambition continues to grow in terms of the variety and quality of our programming and appointment to view TV remains at the top of our wish list.”
Steve North added, “We are increasingly stretching our offering to Dave viewers, bringing them programmes which tap into the news agenda, such as last year’s election special The Pub Landlord vs Nigel Farage. I’m thrilled to be giving our viewers a ringside seat to this hotly-anticipated boxing match and, with Dave’s own spin on the event, helping to show the sport in a brand new light.”
The Hayemaker, who is widely recognised as one of the best British boxers of all time, was the first British boxer to become a unified cruiserweight champion in 2008, winning three out of the four major world titles, as well as The Ring magazine title. Haye then moved up to heavyweight and won the WBA title in 2009 after defeating Russian giant Nikolai Valuev and in the process became only the second boxer in history to have unified the cruiserweight titles and won a heavyweight world championship.
Commenting on his return, Haye said: “I’m so happy to be stepping back into the ring with my hometown crowd behind me. It’s been a long time out, with many ups and downs, but ‘The Hayemaker’ is finally back, and ready to do what I do best. I’m a young 35, in boxing terms, and still have my explosive speed and punching power. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans on ‘Haye Day’ at The O2 on January 16 and I’m delighted that my first fight in three and a half years is going to be available free to air on Dave giving as many people as possible the chance to watch my comeback. I was determined to make this comeback fight free to everybody and fans should sit back and get ready for another fun-fuelled ride as I look to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.”
‘Haye Day’ will be promoted by David’s own promotional company Hayemaker Boxing Ltd, together with entertainment, media and marketing organisation, Salter Brothers Entertainment, Goodwin Productions and support from The O2. Live Boxing: David Haye v Mark De Mori is produced by David Green at Giant Film & TV and Salter Brothers Entertainment for UKTV and is executive produced by UKTV’s Helen Nightingale.
Securing the rights to the fight is a strong start to 2016 for Dave, UKTV’s flagship free-to-air entertainment channel, which last year retained its place as the number one non-PSB channel in the UK and grew for the fourth consecutive year. Brand new comedy gameshow Taskmaster, fronted by comedians Greg Davies and Alex Horne, proved a hit, attracting 539k viewers to its highest rating episode. The show’s mix of banter and outlandish tasks quickly propelled it to cult status and two further series are in the works for later this year. Fast-paced auction show Storage Hunters UK, also performed well with 688k viewers (728k individuals) and a further 849k (904k individuals) viewers for the Christmas Celebrity Special, placing it narrowly ahead of Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish (739k viewers, 752k individuals). Another original show, Red Bull Soap Box Live drew in 640k viewers (724k individuals). Emmy award-nominated The Last Man on Earth was the highest rating acquisition on Dave, with its best rating episode attracting 596k adults.
David Haye takes on Mark de Mori at The O2 on January 16. For tickets to #HayeDay visit axs.com or watch the fight exclusively live on Dave from 9pm. The preview show, Haye v De Mori: The Countdown will air on Friday 15th January at 8pm on Dave. #HayemakerIsBack