David Haye relishing Carl Thompson test

02.08.04 – David Haye has been playing the role of boxing foghorn since leaving behind a highly accomplished amateur career in October 2001. If you’re a striving fighter who hasn’t been called out by this proactive talent, check your mail. The 23-year-old has been calling out, and most importantly knocking out, since his professional induction. The dynamic prospect has rattled through 10 straight professional wins, all by stoppage, and yet still conveys a feeling of incompletion.

On September 10 at Wembley Arena, it is hoped a sense of fruition will be achieved when Haye challenges the ever-dangerous Carl Thompson for the IBO cruiserweight crown. Fight Academy will promote this battle of big punchers…

“Carl has agreed to fight David, and all parties concerned are convinced this will be one of the biggest British fights of recent years,” said Haye’s trainer and manager Adam Booth. “We’re extremely confident of winning this fight, and know that it will propel David to a whole new level. Carl is a great fighter, with a big punch, but he knows he hasn’t got long left, and is hungry, like David, to be involved in a big, big fight before he hangs up the gloves. So here it is.”

Thompson, the battle hardened veteran, has taken more shots over the years than John McClane of ‘Die Hard’ fame – and has the scars and titles to prove it – contrasted with Haye, the more photogenic, naturally gifted athlete who has been hanging with the ‘in-crowd’ since he first punched for pay over two years ago.

“We know exactly what Carl can and can’t do, and we know that if you give him the chance he will take it,” Booth admitted. “He’s been involved in some great tear-ups over the years, and his heart is unquestionable. I just believe that he will not be able to contain David’s speed and power, which is a combination that has already shocked one former world champion.”

That ‘world champion’ Booth alludes to is ‘King’ Arthur Williams, who formerly held the IBF portion of the world cruiserweight title. Haye bludgeoned Williams inside three rounds, barely putting a foot wrong, and was subsequently catapulted up the world rankings. For Haye – a man who has become increasingly frustrated at the lack of adversaries willing to oppose him – suddenly life is rosy and awash with opportunity.

“I’m buzzing. It’s great to have these kinds of fights that you can get up for, and get fully focused for,” said Haye. “This is the type of fight I wanted to have when I first signed those professional forms. A huge title match in front of a packed out crowd. I know I’m ready for it too. This is the perfect time now, for me to make a name for myself in not just British boxing, but world boxing.

“I said from day one, that I’d be willing to fight anyone in Britain, if they were game. People saw me blasting away guys on the BBC and, as a result, I had absolutely no offers to fight me. It’s because of this that I’ve had to chase fights and take these calculated risks that people keep banging on about. Many people believed Arthur Williams would beat me, and that is basically why I accepted that fight. I thrive on that kind of feedback. I love the risk.

“I’m extremely confident of beating him,” proclaimed the vibrant knockout artist. “He did really well to pull out that win over Sebastian Rothmann, but you have to be honest and say he was on his way to losing that fight at the time of the knockout punch. I don’t think he’s the force that he once was, and it’s my time now, to start taking over.

“When I first decided to turn professional I thought that – because I was new to the pro game and had an extensive amateur background – I’d have a queue of fighters round the corner of my gym, wanting to fight me and show me what’s what. I was totally wrong though and it’s taken a real effort from all involved to just obtain fights, let alone big title fights. For me to be going in against a well-known champion like Carl Thompson in my 11th fight shows not only my intentions, but the ambitions of my manager and promoters Fight Academy.”

Haye knows the time is now to transfer his ambitious ramblings into a statement of intent. Promoters Fight Academy and titleholder Carl Thompson have provided the precocious puncher with the stage upon which he can showcase his tools. Meanwhile, Thompson, packing a knowing scowl and a punch that could fell the most steadfast tree, will have heard it all before.

Interview by Elliot Worsell.