Home Boxing News David Haye returns to dispatch De Mori on Dave

David Haye returns to dispatch De Mori on Dave

David Haye (26-2-0) vs Mark de Mori (30-1-2), O2 Arena, 17-01-16

Anticipation

David Haye, the two-weight world champion returned in what was a highly anticipated comeback at the O2 Arena in London this Saturday, with Freeview TV station Dave providing coverage.

Haye hadn’t fought in over three and a half years, with many expecting him to never return to the ring following three successive fight withdrawals and major reconstructive surgery to his shoulder.

Haye looked in superb shape at the weigh-in, coming in at his heaviest ever fight weight. I was surprised as he’d looked bulkier in his earlier heavyweight days, especially against John Ruiz. The touch of fat had gone and the shoulder muscles had been pumped. The new combination he’s formed with up-and-coming trainer Shane McGuigan looked to have paid off, at least in terms of physicality.

Little was known about opponent de Mori. I think he ticked a number of boxes, which made him a good, saleable opponent for Haye’s comeback. He had a good record and looked to possess a dangerous punch. He’s a heavyweight that looks to keep himself in pretty good shape and having the Australian/European connection could have a decent following of his own. Haye also saw him as someone that could be blown away with relative ease.

Fight night

Dave’s commentary team made numerous reference to the O2 being sold out, which I cannot deny, although watching on TV it looked like the top tier was closed. Either way it was an excellent turn out for a comeback fight, especially compared to the very poor attendances seen at the Manchester arena in December for Anthony Crolla’s second shot at a world title and the Lee vs Saunders middleweight battle.

De Mori entered the ring to the expected chorus of boos, but looked pretty confident. Haye soon followed to a remix of his classic entrance tune “ain’t no stopping us now”. To be honest, Haye looked so relaxed and was interacting with the crowd so much that I had serious concerns about him. Had he lost focus? Had his training not gone as well as it appeared? Within 2:11 of the opening bell all my questions were answered with a resounding “No”.

Ding ding

Round one and both fighters took a look at each other, Haye throwing a couple of jabs out, de Mori inactive. Haye got through with a couple of solid shots, shots that looked to jolt de Mori into the reality of what he was up against. De Mori finally threw a wild overhand-right, missing by some way and leaving him open to a Haye barrage.

Haye trapped de Mori in the corner of the ring and de Mori’s only response was to clam up, hands up around the head, nothing coming back. Haye even looked like he really didn’t want to KO de Mori in the first round at one point, but even when his punches stopped, de Mori still remained in his gloved shell in the corner.

Soon after Haye did what was required and dispatched his miss-matched opponent in brutal Haye-maker style.

 

Aftermath

Haye did what was expected of him and did it in superb fashion. Yes, this wasn’t much of a test, but the guy hadn’t fought for three and a half years. My major concern was that he simply wouldn’t be the same fighter after his long layoff, but he looked every bit the Hayemaker of old, albeit a bigger, stronger version.

As expected there was a chorus of rubbish from the casual fan, saying it was a joke and that Haye is a joke etc., etc. Can I please remind everyone that Haye was the unified world cruiserweight champion and heavyweight world champion. There has also been a lot of negativity about de Mori. How about Haye gets more respect for a superb performance? As I’ve mentioned de Mori did have a good record and many thought that he would pose a genuine challenge to Haye.

Next?

Haye is only 35. Being a heavyweight he could have ten years in boxing ahead of him. He’s also in excellent shape and living a healthy vegan lifestyle. His shoulder didn’t look to pose him any issues in the short time we saw him in action and his post-fight comments included mention of a new-found enjoyment of training and the sport.

There are numerous options open to Haye going forwards. For me, the tastiest prospect would be for Haye to take on Joshua. However, Joshua is simply not at Haye’s level currently and I believe Haye would KO Joshua if they met in the next 12 months. There’s also Dillian Whyte, a variety of European fighters and potentially a Chisora rematch. I’m not mentioning the world level fights just yet as Haye will need to build his rank before there’s any chance of a shot at that level.

The future looks good for Haye and assuming the right fights are made I genuinely believe he has a shot at re-taking a world crown.

Dave

This was the first time Dave had shown boxing. It came as a big surprise with all the usual suspects like Sky, Boxnation etc. missing out. Verdict? For me this was a great opportunity for Dave, an opportunity they did not take. The general disregard for boxing, not showing any undercard action until after the main event, the lack of discussion of technique and the poor post-fight interview of Haye made it a poor showing. From some discussions that I’ve had most people with a strong interest in boxing have agreed with me. Did Dave do a good job in bringing boxing to the mainstream? I doubt it. The casual fan would probably feel short-changed by the quick result, especially from the camp that measure value for money on the length of the main event alone, but would moan if it was a 10 round bore-decision.

The whole set-up just didn’t seem right. Channel 5 and Spike have done a decent job in recent times, Dave just seemed to want to show a caricature of the sport and just didn’t seem to take it seriously.

I don’t expect to see boxing back on Dave for some time.

Conclusion

A strong comeback performance from the Hayemaker, putting right back into contention in the heavyweight division. A poor performance from Dave putting them firmly out of boxing contention.

Stuart Bruno Brown