David Haye

  • Full name David Haye
  • Birth date October 13, 1980
  • Birth place London
  • Current age 39 years 3 days
  • Height 6 ft 3 in
WBA heavyweight champion David Haye addresses the media at China Grill inside Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino

David Haye became Britain's first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2009, but surrendered the title less than two years later in a unification showdown with Wladimir Klitschko.

Brash, outspoken, confident are fairly appropriate descriptions of a man who is not afraid to let his mouth do the talking. Haye, though, can certainly walk the walk having made his way through the cruiserweight ranks before graduating to heavyweight.

Haye secured the WBA and WBC cruiserweight belts when stopping Jean-Marc Mormeck. A hugely-anticipated clash with Enzo Macarinelli followed, but it proved a non-event as Haye stopped his Welsh rival in the second round. He immediately signalled his intention to move up to heavyweight and after brushing aside journeyman Monte Barrett, he took Nikolay Valuev's title.

His first defence of that WBA heavyweight crown was against the veteran John Ruiz in Manchester. Haye dominated the fight, knocking down his opponent twice in the first round. Ruiz would hit the canvas two more times before his trainer threw in the towel in the ninth.

After breezing past Audley Harrison, Haye landed himself in a mega-fight against Wladimir Klitschko in July 2011. He was outclassed, losing a wide points decision, but cited a broken toe as the reason for an underwhelming performance.

On October 13, 2011 - his 31st birthday - Haye kept to his often-stated pledge that he was going to retire from the sport. However, you couldn't keep him away from press conferences, and at one following Vitali Klitschko v Dereck Chisora in early 2012, Haye brawled with Chisora.

He subsequently agreed to face Chisora on July 14 at Upton Park, a battle sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation because neither holds a British licence. He was a cut above Chisora, winning via fifth-round knockout.

Haye has insisted he only has eyes for a fight with the Klitschkos, and could retire once more should the opportunity fail to materialise. In November 2012 he appeared on the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! He spent 20 days in the Australian jungle, finishing third.

Career high: Taking the WBA Heavyweight title with victory over Valuev in Germany.

Career low: Failing to live up to his confident pre-fight rhetoric when he fought Klitschko - or, if you prefer, the press-conference melee with Chisora, which brought shame on boxing in the eyes of many

Quote: Never afraid to trash talk, Haye said of Valuev in the lead up to their bout: "He is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. I have watched Lord of the Rings and films with strange looking people, but for a human being to look like he does is pretty shocking."

"I never wanted to be protected as a fighter. It was always the intention of Adam (Booth, trainer/manager) and I to remain completely in charge of our destiny at all times. I wanted to take risks and do things the proper way. I didn't want to hang around at domestic level for a decade and not learn anything about myself.

"I didn't want to pick up some KFC title and call myself a world champion, knowing deep down I wasn't. It's better to take a risk and fail - finding something out about yourself along the way - than to never have taken the risk at all."

Trivia: Once spent £1,500 on a pair of cobraskin cowboy boots. "I was gambling away all my winnings in Las Vegas and decided I should have something to show for my time there. I wore them for a few days and felt the part but that was it. They've been locked away in a suitcase ever since."


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