BOXING: Five fights that defined David Haye’s career

David Haye
David Haye

David Haye has announced his retirement from boxing, having made his professional debut in 2002.

Here, we revisit five of the former WBA, WBO and WBC cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight champion’s defining fights.

David Haye

David Haye

Jean-Marc Mormeck, November 2007

Haye won his first two world titles when, having travelled to Paris to challenge France’s feared Mormeck, he recovered from a fourth-round knockdown to win via a seventh-round knockout after landing a fine combination. Victory set up a unification fight with Wales’ Enzo Maccarinelli, who he stopped inside two just four months later to add the WBO title to his collection.

Nikolay Valuev, November 2009

In his second fight following his permanent move into the heavyweight division, Haye truly captured the imagination of the British public by challenging Russia’s seven-foot WBA champion Valuev. Despite breaking his right hand in the opening rounds in Nuremberg, Germany, he used his speed and mobility to overcome a significant size disadvantage and become the world heavyweight champion, as he had long promised he would.

David Haye

David Haye

Wladimir Klitschko, July 2011

Haye finally secured the biggest night of his career when agreeing to travel to Hamburg in a unification fight for the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles, but he simply proved too small to take advantage of the opportunity he had long sought. Blaming a broken little toe for an underwhelming performance that led to him being convincingly outboxed, he damaged his reputation and lost his status as a world champion, which he would also never recover.

Dereck Chisora, July 2012

A fight that began as a brawl in a press conference became a reality at Upton Park despite it not being sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control. In his biggest grudge match and his final fight at the level that had once brought him such success, Haye produced another classy performance to become the first to stop the tough Chisora, doing so in five rounds.

David Haye with his WBA heavyweight World title

David Haye with his WBA heavyweight World title

Tony Bellew II, May 2018

Haye had unexpectedly lost to Bellew 14 months earlier when he ruptured his Achilles mid-fight in an injury that had somewhat masked his decline. Supposedly fit for last month’s rematch, he was unable to hide the loss of his abilities and punch resistance as an opponent who was a light-heavyweight while Haye was the world heavyweight champion dropped him three times before the fifth-round stoppage.