Whether there is still national interest in him or not, David Haye has confirmed that he will continue boxing. He announced that he would be parting ways with Shane McGuigan, who was his trainer for his last comeback that was mainly shown on the Dave channel in Britain and then on SKY television for his bout with Tony Bellew. His new coach is currently Ismael Salas, who has worked with the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa and Danny Green. There has been no confirmation on what the former heavyweight champion’s next move is going to be, as far as choice of opponent or where he will compete next, is concerned.
So, what could be next?
Well, WBC cruiserweight champion Bellew was seemingly up for a return bout, but did say that Haye would have to play second fiddle to him in negotiations. An understandable demand, since the Liverpudlian proved that he was the superior boxer back in March when he stopped the Londoner in 11 rounds. Negotiations began to reportedly take place but then fell through. However, promoter Eddie Hearn did say within the past few days that he is still working on making the fight. Will it happen? Well, if it doesn’t then Haye is likely to carry on with his comeback plans but go in a different direction.
The former cruiserweight champion first needs to make sure that his body can tolerate further physical abuse. He injured his achilles heel in the Bellew bout and further injuries to his arm kept him out of the ring for an extensive period of time before that. Concerns over his physical health will always ascend from this point forward so long as he holds a professional boxing licence.
Apart from the Bellew rematch there appears to be few options. The current heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker will have little incentive to give Haye a shot at their crowns. And who can blame them. There wouldn’t be any financial advantage in a bout with a man whose body fell apart in his last fight. The Bermondsey man always talks up a good scrum but it is doubtful that anybody would buy the hype this time around, especially if it is for a world title.
The only other option for David Haye appears to be to take the quiet route. Work hard to get back into world title contention, even if it means facing little known opposition at first and then working his way up the ladder. Lennox Lewis had to do this when he suffered defeat to Oliver McCall. But would Haye’s ego allow him to travel down this route? If he wants it badly enough then he would do anything.
At age 36, time is also not on the heavyweight’s side. As the body takes further punishment and grows older day by day, it becomes more difficult to recover from injuries. Even training in the gym begins to get harder. If David Haye wishes to prove that he can still compete at the very top level then who has the right to tell him not to do what he wants to?
The light may be flickering out on the boxer’s professional career. But it hasn’t fully extinguished yet.