Sunday 16th December 2018,

David Haye Adds Depth to Heavyweight Division

David Haye

David Haye returned to action on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, knocking out overmatched Mark de Mori in 2:11 of Round 1. de Mori had built an impressive looking record fighting obscure opponents, so I don’t think anybody expected him to give Haye much of a battle. Few knowledgeable observers probably expected him to finish on his feet.

Still, the quick night of work for Haye was a good sign, indicating that the athletic Brit still retains his explosive power after a break of three-and-a-half years. The punch that finished it was a big overhand right, with de Mori out cold before he hit the canvas.

Haye’s last fight was a Round 5 TKO of the rugged Dereck Chisora in July 2012. A highly anticipated showdown with Tyson Fury was delayed twice, before Haye finally retired in 2013, following shoulder surgery.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Haye is returning to action now, just as the heavyweight division appears to have entered the post-Klitschko era. Haye’s 2011 loss to Wladimir Klitschko was a one-sided embarrasment, with Haye flopping to the canvas again and again, like a soccer player.

But at 35, Haye still represents a dangerous proposition for most of the sport’s big men. He was a dominant champion at cruiserweight, but he carried his power with him when he moved up in class.

At heavyweight, Haye was a belt holder, winning the WBA title from the gigantic Russian, Nicolai Valuev, by majority decision in November 2009. That fight was a snooze-fest, but if you had to pick somebody to win it, Haye was a fair choice. He defended the belt twice before losing to Klitschko, knocking out fringe contender Audley Harrison and a 38-year-old, well-worn John Ruiz.

David Haye is a welcome addition to the current heavyweight picture, to be sure. His power and speed will make him an interesting matchup for any top-10 fighter. A long-delayed clash with Tyson Fury would bring great excitement to the English domestic scene, and would draw plenty of interest on this side of the pond, as well.

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