About David Haye

The young star-struck lad squeezed up on the sofa next to his dad, throwing make believe punches into the air as he watched the late night boxing on TV. His dream was to be just like his idol Muhammad Ali and become the heavyweight champion of the world. Some 20 years later, the dream that spawned in front of the TV became a reality....

Live Boxing: David Haye v Arnold Gjergjaj

In front of a baying crowd Haye beat Nicolai Valuev to lift the WBA world heavyweight crown on an unforgettable night in Nuremberg, Germany.

Haye had beaten the odds, just like he had done all his professional life. He had beaten a fighter known as the Beast from the East who stood at seven foot and weighed in at around 23 stone.

The Hayemaker entered the ring some seven stone lighter and some 11 inches shorter than Valuev but nothing was going to stop David beating the Russian Goliath.

The journey from wannabee fighter to world champion was complete when referee Luis Pabon raised Haye's hand in triumph for a points win over Valuev.

It also signalled Haye had achieved the difficult feat of becoming a two weight champion following his success as a cruiserweight.

For Haye, the road to the top started when he turned professional after becoming the first Brit fighter to win a silver medal at the World Amateur Championships.

A veteran called Tony Booth was Haye's first pro opponent, a journeyman if ever there was one. Under the bright lights of York Hall in Bethnal Green, East London, Haye's first steps to stardom were taken as a cruiserweight.

Booth was dispatched in two rounds, quitting in his corner after soaking up nonstop punishment. Haye then rattled his way to 10-0 before he came unstuck against Carl Thompson.

It looked all too easy for Haye, who was by now established as a star of the small screen for fans who couldn't get tickets to see him live.

Thompson was aged 40, Haye barely 22 - it was experience versus youth and the 'old guy' was about to deliver an upset that shocked the boxing world. After soaking up punishment from Haye, Thompson, who was behind on all the judges' scorecards found power and range to put Haye in his place in the fifth, compelling his corner to throw in the towel. It was back to the drawing board and the lesson of the TKO by Thompson has never been forgotten by Haye till this day.

After the first defeat of his professional career, Haye put his track shoes on and was out of the blocks for his 're-build' like lightening.

He kick started his career against Estonian Valery Semishkur, winning by TKO in the first round. Garry Delaney then became another Haye victim in the third, while Glen Kelly and Vincenzo Rossitto were also dispatched quickly.

But the bout that signalled Haye was really back on track was against Alexander Gurov for the European cruiserweight championship. Haye knocked out Gurov with a single right hand in just 45 seconds.

Haye was the man to avoid in the cruisers and in 2007 he became world cruiserweight champion. But, he had to go into Jean-Marc Mormeck's Parisian back yard to do it.

At the arena in Lavellois-Perret, Mormeck, the local hero who was the WBC and WBA world champion, put Haye down in the fourth round. Everyone at ringside thought the result was just a formality.

Somehow, Haye recovered and delivered a ferocious combination of a right uppercut, left, then right hook to end Mormeck's resistance in the seventh round to become world cruiserweight champion.

As good as it was, the two cruiserweight titles were not what Haye really wanted. The heavyweight division beckoned but not before he sensationally knocked out Enzo Maccarenelli to unify the cruiserweight division. He took the Welshman's WBO belt after two rounds of mayhem.

Boxing politics and unexpected injuries then prevented Haye from fighting Vitali Klitschko, and his brother Wladimir, circumstances that led to Haye taking on Valuev.

His performance against Valuev was textbook with his accuracy and speedy footwork leading to a majority points win over the Russian giant.

John Ruiz then tried and failed to take the WBA world title from Haye in Manchester with the American getting stopped in the ninth round, only the second time he had failed to go the distance.

Friendship was put aside later that year in 2010 when Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison was named as Haye's next defence of his WBA crown.

To say Harrison disappointed on the night is an understatement. He landed just one jab and was put down by Haye before referee Luis Pabon stopped the bout with one minute and seven seconds remaining of the third round.

Almost a year later, Haye was in Hamburg Germany to face Wladimir Klitschko but on a rain drenched night at the Imtech Arena lost to a unanimous points decision.

Haye was pilloried after his defeat with many claiming he tried to use an infected toe as the reason for his loss when in fact Haye freely admitted Vitali was the better boxer on the night.

Another long layoff followed and after more controversy at a press conference when he became involved in a brawl with Dereck Chisora, Haye was back in the ring.

Chisora was the fighter in the opposite corner at West Ham's Upton Park ground and he just couldn't handle Haye's speed, power and accuracy losing in the fifth round in front of 40,000 fans.

Fast forward to January 16th 2016 and Haye returns to the ring for the first time in over three years for a comeback match against Mark De Mori. 113 seconds into the first round and De Mori is knocked out. The Hayemaker is back!

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