He’s rich, he’s got his health. Thank God he’s got out.
David Haye announced his retirement from the ring today.
Mind you, we have been here before – he did the same in 2011.
Let’s hope he’s learnt his lesson.
He’s taken enough punishment having undergone spinal surgery and sustained full ruptures of both biceps and an achilles tendon in recent years.
You only have to look to Haye’s idol and The Greatest, Muhammed Ali, to see what carrying on too long in this most brutal of sports can do.
In the final of four interviews with Ali in 1981, Sir Michael Parkinson recalled sadly that the great man was already in decline.
“That interview was autumnal. He was not well, his voice was slurred and I felt so sad, because I knew I’d never see him again. We all knew what was going to happen, it was like watching a great tower being demolished in slow-motion.”
Haye would be the first to acknowledge that he’s not fit to lace Ali’s gloves, but he was pretty special in his day.
After becoming European cruiserweight champion Haye went on to win the WBC, WBO and WBA world titles before stepping up to heavyweight.
He beat Russian Nikolay Valuev to claim the WBA heavyweight crown in 2009.
That meant he was only the second boxer after American Evander Holyfield to unify the cruiserweight titles and become a heavyweight world champion.
I enjoyed interviewing David a couple of years back and remember being surprised that such a large fit man was a vegan. Shows my ignorance I suppose.
At least he appears to have recognised that his recent fifth round stoppage against Tony Bellew exposed the weaknesses that others feared it might.
Haye said today: “The things I used to be able to do in the ring – instinctively – now exist only in my mind and in video clips of my old fights.
“The boxing gods have spoken. They will no longer protect me with the freakish speed and power I used to possess.”
Enjoy your retirement David, and stay retired!