Five years ago, David Haye was top of the world. A heavyweight champion and national hero, Haye had it all: the money, the fame, and one of the biggest fights of the decade lined up against Wladimir Klitschko.
But five years is a long time in boxing. After the glory days on Sky Sports PPV, Haye’s comeback fight will versus Mark De Mori on Saturday will be screened on the home of witter banter: Dave.
Dave on Dave
It might make for an easy three word advert, but it’s not where Haye would have imagined himself after filling up football stadiums and fighting in front of global audiences of millions. After his performance against Klitschko, Haye took off his boots and blamed it on an injured toe. The public was not impressed. But Haye rebuilt, and regained their respect with a spectacular knockout of bitter rival Derek Chisora.
A new beginning
Haye has dismissed the rumours of marriage problems and financial difficulties and said he’s coming back for the love of the game. But they always say that. Haye has a new trainer in Shane McGuigan. His comeback fight versus Mark De Mori will be first without Adam Book in his corner since turning pro.
There’s big possibilities around the corner. Haye was licking his lips at ringside watching Anthony Joshua rocked by Dillian Whyte last month. He knows his fast hands and supple footspeed are a major threat to Joshua’s heavy legs and lack of head movement.
There’s also a long-overdue, twice cancelled grudge match with new world champion Tyson Fury . And don’t forget WBC belt-holder Deontay Wilder either. Haye and the Bronze Bomber have history too.
The salesman returns
Haye has taken a new approach to the promotion of his return to the ring: a partnership with Lad Bible (tragically, the ninth most popular website in the UK, ahead of any newspaper) and countdown Tweets from his celebrity friends have accompanied the traditional appearance on mainstream chat shows and tabloid newspapers. Always a master publicist, Haye may finally be struggling to win back a British public that has moved on since his heyday.
The man in the opposite corner
Haye (26-2, 24 KOs), 35 will be taking on Mark De Mori (30-1-2, 26 KOs) over 12 rounds in a non-title showdown at the 02 Arena. The Australian, who moved to Croatia to train with an ex-Olympian, has faced modest opposition and the footage doesn’t suggest he’ll offer much of a threat.
But he’s big and he’ll come to fight. And he’s done his best to help hype the fight, headbutting Haye at the press conference and mocking British sporting prowess in the press.
The supporting cast
The chief support bout for the fight was scheduled to feature his fellow Australian, ex-champ Billy Dibb. But Dibb has since pulled out injured.Promoters consistently claim that the undercard matters little to the casual viewers. But a great supporting bout can create a new star in the sport or a new fan of it, or save a show’s reputation if the main event is a letdown. Dave will now only be showing highlights of the supporting bouts
A lot can change in five years in boxing. As much can change in a week. Haye still has time for a few marketing stunts, and a freeview audience of many millions more than the subscription platforms he has fought on for decades. Throw in some blood and guts on the undercard and a spectacular KO to finish, and the future could still be bright for Dave.
Coverage starts at 9pm, and the main event is slated to begin at 9.45pm. Join us here from 8.30pm for live coverage of the night’s action.
||Hayeday: David Haye vs Mark De Mori LIVE