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Rejuvenated Haye set to continue heavyweight comeback charge against Gjergjaj

| 16.05.2016

Lee Gormley | May 14, 2016

Haye continuing heavyweight title charge

Former world heavyweight champion David Haye made a rampant return to the ring in January after a three-and-a-half-year absence, as he brutally stopped Australian Mark de Mori in just over two minutes of the opening round in London.

David Haye Press Conference - London

The 35-year-old had not fought since 2012 when he halted compatriot Dereck Chisora at Upton Park, but showed no signs of rustiness when demolishing his comeback opponent at the O2 Arena earlier this year.

Under the new guidance of now reputable trainer Shane McGuigan, ‘the Hayemaker’ is aiming to continue his rejuvenated heavyweight charge and will next come up against Kosovo-Albanian-born Swiss fighter Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0, 21 KOs) on May 21st.

Haye (27-2, 25 KOs) will be looking for a similarly impressive second outing in the capital and is 7/2 with Coral to secure another first-round knockout over Gjergjaj, while a more high-profile bout with veteran Shannon Briggs looms large too.

‘Hayemaker’ to potentially face Briggs

A peak audience of 3.2m tuned into the former world champion’s return fight on home soil, something the Londoner was proud of and wants to see happen again this month.

“I was overwhelmed with the peak audience of 3.2 million, who tuned in to my fight against Mark de Mori,” stated Haye.

David Haye Press Conference - London

“Boxing is booming in the UK right now and these figures prove it. I always said I wanted to bring boxing back to the masses and in partnership with UK TV we really did do that in January.”

The former WBA title holder also confirmed that brash-talking American Briggs would get a shot at him if the 44-year-old New Yorker can overcome ex-European king Alexander Dimitrenko on the undercard of Haye’s encounter with unbeaten Gjergjaj.

“If the Cannon does manage to walk away victorious, I’ll be surprised,” added ‘the Hayemaker’. “But at the same time he’ll have proved his worth. It just means I get to be the one to knock him out, which is even better!”

“The fans really embraced me…”

Briggs has been stalking Haye since arriving in the UK this year, going through the same routines which he has previously carried out against Wladimir Klitschko, and the former world champion is looking forward to a match-up with his British rival.

David Haye Public Workout - Third Space

“Once I’ve knocked Dimitrenko out, I’ll focus on taking David Haye down in his home town,” declared ‘the Cannon’.

“It will be my first time fighting in this great country and the fans really embraced me when I was here earlier this month.”

Haye wants Joshua ASAP

Long before Haye had even made his awaited reappearance he was targeting a Wembley showdown with recently-crowned IBF champion and fellow Brit Anthony Joshua, a mouth-watering meeting that the more experienced fighter would enter at 15/8 to win.

Joshua has become one of the biggest names in the sport after his swift dethroning of Charles Martin to reign supreme, along with signing a new deal with American broadcaster Showtime, but Haye is hoping to face the former Olympic Gold medallist as soon as possible.

Tennis - 2014 Wimbledon Championships - Day Six - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

“Being world champion will give him [Joshua] a new sense of confidence in his ability and punch power,” stated Haye. “I’m always confident I’ll beat anyone on the planet, including Joshua.”

The 26-year-old emphatically stopped Martin inside two rounds to clinch the IBF strap in April on only his 16th professional outing, and is 7/2 to down challenger Dominic Breazeale on June 25th in his maiden defence, though Haye was not impressed by Joshua’s recent opponent.

“I can’t think of a worse champion than Martin. Lots of champions have lost the title in their first defence, it happens,” he continued.

“Joshua was a level above…”

“Even our very own Frank Bruno lost the WBC title in his next fight after winning it, but he lost to Mike Tyson.

“Martin didn’t appear to have any game plan or give it any thought. He was totally out of his depth and Joshua was a level above. People thought he had potential because of his size and southpaw stance — myself included — but when the chips were down he didn’t do anything.

“You can say he was no good as he got knocked out but you also have to look at Joshua’s punch power.

Anthony Joshua v Charles Martin - 02 Arena

“Joshua’s confidence is at an all-time high but he wouldn’t come close to landing the shots he hit Martin with against me.”

With Tyson Fury set to defend his titles against previous long-standing champion Klitschko later this year, and current WBC title holder Deontay Wilder also pushing for future unification match-ups, along with Joshua, Haye and many others, the heavyweight division is once again full of talent.

‘The Hayemaker’ will aim to down Gjergjaj quickly in his upcoming bout and hopefully move on to putting an end to his ongoing rivalry with American Briggs, before potential shots at regaining world heavyweight title glory come his way during this rampant comeback path.


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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.