The Return of David Haye
The year of 2015 was one of the most exciting in recent heavyweight history and it could be set to get even more fascinating in the New Year with the return of David Haye.
Having started the year with Deontay Wilder becoming the first American heavyweight champion for almost ten years, we ended the year with Tyson Fury shocking the world to beat Wladimir Klitschko and end the Ukrainian’s reign at the top of the division that included 23 defences, the second longest reign in history.
With a number of intriguing storylines already potentially set to play out in the heavyweight division in 2016, from the Fury vs. Klitschko rematch to Deontay Wilder’s search for a big fight and Anthony Joshua’s explosive progression, you can also add the return of former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye to that list.
Over three years since he demolished Dereck Chisora in five rounds at a packed and wet Wembley, the Londoner will make his return at the start of 2016 in what looks to be a routine warm-up fight against Australian Mark de Mori, in a bout that Haye will go into priced as low as 1/16 with some bookmakers, while his little known opponent will have odds as big as 11/1 to spring the upset.
So the question is why is Haye returning? For money and fame or glory and titles? The truth is that for the 35-year-old to make serious money and re-establish himself as an A-list star, he’s going to need to chase the titles and the glory. Klitschko’s defeat by Fury not only shocked the majority of punters who had bet on the champion, it opened up the whole division and took away some of Haye’s selling power.
While he might have been able to pick up some big fights as undisputed champion, he cherry-picked his opponents, leaving the rest of the division desperate for a shot against a big name.
With Vyacheslav Glazkov and Charles Martin set to fight for the now vacant IBF title following the decision to strip Fury, Haye is looking at a division of three champions, none of which will be particularly open to fighting him. He poses a very dangerous fight for Wilder and whoever is the new IBF champ.
While he may think otherwise, in the eyes of the boxing world, Tyson Fury is now the UK’s number one heavyweight boxer, with memories still fresh of Haye’s two pull-outs against the colourful new champion.
It’s not just boxing fans who haven’t forgiven the former undisputed cruiserweight champion for those withdrawals, the first of which came the week of the fight, and Fury has made no secret over the fact it would take quite a turn in events for the new king of the division to even consider giving Haye a third shot.
But aside from some clear hints, he is now chasing his fellow Englishman. The veteran has admitted he is more than willing to work his way up the rankings and earn his chance at fighting for the title again.
With the ‘Klitschko era’ now potentially over, it’s very interesting for the division. Haye will want to be a part of that. Before any talk of title fights, though, Haye still has to get through the rest of his training camp and see off the frankly solid-looking De Mori in his return fight, in which the Englishman will have odds of around 1/9 to win inside the distance.
If he can do both those things, we could have another exciting player to watch out for in this heavyweight division in 2016.