Last week a true legend of British boxing The Hayemaker David Haye hung up the gloves and called time on his incredible career. So in this post I will be looking back at his career to see what his Legacy will be.
David had an impressive amateur career culminating in him winning a sliver medal in the 2001 world championships. He made his professional debut on the 8th December 2002 with a knockout victory over Tony Booth in the 2nd round. He went on to win his first 10 fights by knockout picking up the English title along the way, and he looked unstoppable.
Then on the 9th October 2004 he got his big chance as in just his 11th fight he got the chance to fight for the world title, when he stepped in to the ring with Carl Thompson. Although Thompson was the defending champion Haye came into the fight a heavy favourite. However what should have been a dream night for Haye turned into a nightmare when he was knocked out in the 5th round, he started the fight brightly rocking Thompson a number of times and punching Thompson from pillar to post. He continued to dominate in the 2nd but he was starting to look out of gas, he’d thrown everything he had at Thompson and he was still standing and he was starting to come on strong. In the 4th Haye look completely exhausted and he was just looking to throw haymakers with every shot. By the 5th round Thompson was just able to land at will and then the inevitable happened as Haye hit the canvas he beat the count but then seconds later the towel came in from the corner with Haye out on his feet. Later Haye would say that the loss to Thompson was one of the best things that could have happened as it made him a better fighter.
Following that devastating loss to Carl Thompson David Haye was forced to go back to the drawing board. He was back in the ring again in 2 months when he took on Valeri Semiskur he came back in style scoring the knockout in the opening round. He then went on a 7 year winning streak. Just 4 fights after losing to Thompson he was back in the ring fighting for a title as he knocked out Alexander Gurov in the opening round to become the new European Cruiserweight champion. He went on to make 3 successful defences. His 3rd defence against Ismail Abdoul was the first time he was taken the distance in a fight before winning a unanimous decision 120-108 on all 3 of the judges cards
Two fights later he got another shot at the big one as he took on Jean-Marc Mormeck for the unified WBA and WBC titles. It was a very close fight with the fight going one way then the other Haye was fighting well before been dropped in the 4th, he came back well on wobbly legs to stop Mormeck in the 7th round to become the new world champion. Many people believed that this would be Hayes last fight at Cruiserweight because he was starting to struggle to make weight and he was always big for a Cruiserweight. Although the public really wanted to see a fight between David Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli
On 3rd March 2008 the public got what they wanted as Haye and Maccarinelli went to war for the WBA, WBC and the WBO titles. From the opening bell you could see this wasn’t going to be a fight of finesse as Haye was rocked within seconds of the bell, but then Haye started to take control of the fight. In the 2nd round Haye dropped Maccarinelli he got back to his feet but he was very unsteady on his feet and the referee stopped the fight.
After beating Enzo Maccarinelli Haye made the decision to move up to Heavyweight full time everyone knew he had the size to move up to Heavyweight but questions still remained around his punching power. In his first fight as a fully fledged Heavyweight he took on Monte Barrett a fight he won with a 5th round knockout. In just his 3rd fight as a heavyweight he got the opportunity to take on the giant Nikolay Valuev for the WBA Heavyweight title. Standing 7 foot tall nobody gave Haye a chance of winning the title. Nevertheless on fight night Haye put in a career best performance to out box and out class the Russian giant for 12 hard rounds. Throughout the whole fight Haye did a brilliant job of moving in and out of range and getting his shots off. In the 12th round he came very close to putting Valuev over as he was on rubbery legs and the bell saved him. Haye shocked the world by winning with a split decision winning the fight 116-112, 116-112 and 114-114.
After slaying the giant the whole world wanted to know who he would face in his first defence on the 3rd April 2010 he took on tough American John Ruiz. Haye drop Ruiz twice in the first round and it only looked like a matter of time. However it wasn’t a brilliant performance from Haye as he had a point deducted for rabbit punches. Haye floored Ruiz in the 5th and the 6th, finally the towel came in from Ruiz’s corner in the 9th round.
After successfully defending his title many people thought he would move on to bigger and better things however he decided to take on fellow Brit Audley Harrison, this was a move that surprise many people, but the pair have never gotten a long and I think Haye wanted to shut Harrison up. At the time it was looking less and less likely that he was going to get the opportunity to unify the devision with a fight with Wladimir Klitschko. So after months of bad blood in the build up the pair finally let their fists do the talking on the 13th November 2010. However the fight didn’t live up to the buildup, as Haye wiped Harrison out in 3 short rounds, and if you look at the punch stats for the fight you will see that Harrison only landed one punch in the whole fight.
After a nasty build up I’m sure we all remember Haye wearing a T shirt holding both of the Klitschko brothers heads he finally got the fight he had been demanding. On 2nd July 2011 on a wet and cold night in Germany all the talking stopped and the first bell rang. From the opening bell Haye was just out boxed he couldn’t get near Klitschko to land anything clean, and to make things worse he was dropped in the 11th round although it looked more like a slip. He was well beaten to be honest I think he only won one round in the whole fight. In his post fight interview and press conference he was less than gracious in defeat. Then came the moment that everyone will remember toe gate Haye said that the only reason he lost the fight was because he broke his little toe in training. He went as far as to get up on the table at the press conference so the whole world could see his toe. Unfortunately this excuse for losing would follow him for the rest of his career. The lost to Klitschko was his first since the Carl Thompson defeat back in 2004.
After the loss to Klitschko many people thought that he would have called it a day then but he put retirement plans on the back burner because of the possibility of a fight with Vitali Klitschko However the fight never happened as Klitschko opted to take on Dereck Chisora instead.
After Chisora lost to Klitschko in their fight Haye was at his post fight press conference, the press conference soon turned into a bar room brawl between the two. In the aftermath of the brawl Chisora threatened to murder Haye. Following the brawl in Germany the pair decided to settle their differences in the ring at the home of West Ham United football club. However the British Boxing Board of Control refused to license the fight, so the fight was licensed by The Luxembourg Boxing Federation, this was heavily criticised by many people and organisations within boxing so much so that the WBC threatened to revoke the licenses of anyone involved in the event. Haye won with a 5th round stoppage of Chisora.
After his victory over Chisora Haye started negotiations with Tyson Fury and the fight was made for 29th June 2013, but Haye pulled out with an injury the fight was rescheduled twice as Haye kept having to withdraw with injuries. The fight would now never happen as Haye required shoulder surgery and he was advised by doctors to call it a day, although he never officially retired.
In 2015 he announced that he was returning to the ring and that wasn’t the only bombshell he also revealed that he was no longer going to be trained by his longtime trainer Adam Booth who had been his trainer since he was 16 and he was teaming up with Shane McGuigan. He stepped back between the ropes on the 16th January 2016 against Mark de Mori but to be honest it wasn’t a fight it was more like a glorified sparring session as he scored the knockout in the opening round. He was back in the ring again on the 21st May 2016 against Ardnold Gjergjaj, but once again it wasn’t a competitive fight as Haye scored the knockout in the 2nd round.
On the 4th March 2017 the public got the fight they wanted to see after months of build up over social media the fight finally happened. In front of a packed O2 arena the fight was fairly even until the 6th round when Haye suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon he continued to try and fight back but it was obvious he was struggling he made it to the 11th round before Bellew put him through the ropes and the towel came in from the corner.
An immediate rematch was made as Haye believe that he could beat Bellew if it wasn’t for his injury. The fight was made for December but Haye was force to pull out with a bicep injury. So the fight took place on the 5th May back at the O2. From the opening bell Haye just didn’t look right and he was reaching with his punches. He was dropped twice in the 3rd somehow he made it to the bell and through the 4th. He was put down again in the 5th before the referee jumped in and stopped it. It was clear to see his mind was willing but the body wasn’t. He refused to be drawn on questions about his future after the fight.
On the 12 June he took to social media to release this statement
You can read his full statement on his website.
So what does the future hold for David Haye he is cultivating a growing stable as a promoter including the heavyweight Commonwealth champion Joe Joyce, so he’s still got a lot to offer the sport from the other side of the ropes
Comment below and let me know your thoughts.