There is nothing more exciting than a comeback, especially when it involves a former world heavyweight champion. Former champions; Ali, Tyson, Holyfield, Foreman, Lewis and the Klitschko brothers have endured the pain of losing the heavyweight crown but they remain the chosen few to have successfully regained the title.
Former WBA heavyweight champion, David Haye (26-2, 24 KOs) will be hoping he can add his name to that list of former heavyweights who have regained the world title and he will start by taking on Australian Mark De Mori (30-1-2, 26 KOs) at the O2 Arena, London on Saturday night.
This fight marks the end of a four year ring hiatus for the London born fighter. Haye’s last fight was a fifth round stoppage victory over Dereck Chisora in July 2012. A shoulder injury, requiring major surgery forced him into early retirement and resulted in the cancellation of a clash with the current world heavyweight champion; Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs).
Since Fury upset the odds by beating WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany last November the heavyweight landscape has changed dramatically. Fury was subsequently stripped of his IBF heavyweight for failing to agree to defend against his mandatory challenger and on Saturday night a contest between Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs) and Vyacheslev Glazkov (21-0-1, 13 KOs) will provide fans with a new IBF titleholder.
Tyson Fury remains the WBA/WBO/IBO champion while the American power puncher Deontay Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs) is the current WBC heavyweight champion. Wilder will defend his title this Saturday against Poland’s Artur Szpilka (20-1, 15 KOs) at the Barclays Center, New York. The first heavyweight contest to be staged in Brooklyn in over one hundred and fifteen years.
With Fury’s victory in Germany there was a genuine sense of a changing of the guard in the heavyweight division, for the 35 year old Haye he will be keen to re-establish himself as a contender in boxing’s premier division and make the most of a division that is fast becoming ripe with opportunity.
The first step on the road to regaining the heavyweight title will be an impressive victory on Saturday night. Haye had previously been guided by trainer Adam Booth, but since he has resumed training in preparation for this fight he has engaged the services of Shane McGuigan who has been meticulous in his approach to reinvigorating Haye for this comeback.
Haye’s opponent Mark de Mori has a fine ring record and an equally impressive physique, but his reputation is built largely on victories over journeyman fighters. His sole loss was a first round stoppage in 2004 to fellow Aussie and unknown John Wyborn. The pragmatic Haye will be unconcerned with his opponent’s record and more interested in the fact he has a top ten ranking with the WBA. A victory over de Mori would catapult Haye back into the big time as a ranked contender with one of the major sanctioning organisations.
An impressive victory is required on Saturday night in order for Haye to re-establish himself as a legitimate heavyweight contender. He will be hoping to shake off any ring rust and secure a stoppage victory in order to position himself in line for a potential title shot later in the year.
If he secures his ranking with the WBA then it may inevitably lead to a title shot against Tyson Fury which would be a lucrative fight for both fighters in the UK. Add to that the potential of a showdown with Anthony Joshua and it becomes apparent there is no better time than the present for David Haye to be mounting a comeback. Fight fans may yet have something to look forward to in the heavyweight division for 2016.
Haye v de Mori is live on Dave from 9pm on Saturday the 16th January 2016.
Wilder v Szpilka is live on Sky Sports 1 from 3am on Sunday the 17th January 2016.