By: Hans Themistode
David Haye is currently in the midst of his third retirement. But just like the previous two, He isn’t exactly ready to call it a career.
The former unified Cruiserweight champion and one time Heavyweight titlist, ended a four year hiatus to stop the unheralded Mark De Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj in 2016. That win streak however, along with Haye’s hopes for another title shot, ended quickly with back to back knockout losses to Tony Bellew in 2017 and 2018.
Since then, Haye decided to ride off into the sunset for seemingly one last time. But now, it looks as though he could change his mind. Nevertheless don’t expect him to make a return to the ring against a rising contender or a no name opponent. No, only the best of the best can make the man nicknamed “Hayemaker” return one more time.
“The only one that I would do it for is the winner of AJ and Tyson Fury because that would be No1 vs No1,” said Haye in an interview with Behind The Gloves. “That’s probably the only one, but not really. It’s a lot to go through.”
Over the course of Haye’s career, he spent the vast majority of it hurt. Injuries to his bicep, a torn achilles and most notably an injured toe hampered him for long stretches. But now, as is often the case with retired fighters, Haye feels rejuvenated and better than ever.
“I got my body in a good place right now, and I’m in a good place. All my injuries have healed up. There’s been no hardcore training. I’ve been at home with my weights. I’ve enjoyed this time where the intensity has been taken from a ten to a three. Everyone thinks I train super, super hard. Not really. I probably train between half an hour to 45-minute every day, but I have a nice routine.”
“I’m not training for an athletic performance. I’m training for vanity. When I watch fights now, I think ‘I’d slip this jab, I’d do this and do that.’ That’s the slippery slope when your brain starts going like that.”
It’s hard to get the 2018 version of Haye out of the minds of fans. He was slow, unathletic, lethargic and a shell of his former self. It’s difficult to imagine that version of Haye standing a chance against Joshua, Fury or any top ten Heavyweight.
At one point, Haye had it all. He possessed the power, speed and finesse to give anyone in the Heavyweight division fits. But even if he could get his hands on a time machine and reach back to his old championship caliber self, Haye isn’t 100% sure it would be enough.
“I remember watching Anthony Joshua when he [recently] fought Andy Ruiz, and I thought, ‘Damn, that would be very, very difficult to beat,” said Haye. “Even on my best day, that version of him [Joshua] that is boxing, and light on his feet, he’s ready and fearful as well,’ that’s hard to beat.”
“I thought the same thing when I saw Tyson Fury fight Wilder. I’m watching, and I’m like, ‘That guy [Fury] is a hard guy to beat.’ So those are the two performances I’ve seen since I’ve been retired where I watched it and gone, ‘That would have been a hard work, no matter what version of me that was.’