When it comes to boxing’s glamour division no one brings as much star quality to the table as David Haye. As quick-footed as any middleweight, with the concussive hands of an anaesthetist and all the razzmatazz of a Hollywood production, Haye is to the heavyweight division what Peri-Peri sauce is to chicken and chips.
Born and raised in south London, young David would tell his school teachers that he would one day become the heavyweight champion of the world. His first tentative - no make that explosive - steps to accomplishing that feat came in December 2002 when he turned pro, knocking out cruiserweight veteran Tony Booth inside two rounds.
The Hayemker would then proceed to blaze a trail through the weight that brought him to the door of champion Jean Marc Mormeck. Going into Frenchman’s backyard in November 2007, Haye ripped the WBC and WBA titles from Mormeck with a seventh-round stoppage.
Four months later Haye stopped WBO champ Enzo Maccarinelli in his tracks in two rounds to become the undisputed lineal cruiserweight champion of the world. By now a real pattern was beginning to emerge in the career trajectory of the Brit boxer and true to form it wasn’t long before he was on his way to dethrone another world champion.
In November 2009 Haye travelled to Nuremberg, Germany to face and defeat Russian giant Nikolay Valuev for the WBA heavyweight championship of the world. Mission accomplished… but for the minor issue of legacy…
To leave his stamp on the sport Haye always knew he would have to overthrow the heavyweight’s ruling monarchy the Klitschko brothers. Two fight cancellations, months of protracted negotiations and several hours of trash-talking later the travel plans were made and Haye once again walked into the lion’s den only to come up short this time and relinquesh his title to No1 heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko.