• Boxing

Haye eyes Klitschko rematch, refuses to confirm retirement

ESPN staff
November 22, 2013
Peter Fury predicted Haye would have his eyes on a Klitschko bought after cancelling his fight with Tyson Fury

David Haye says shoulder surgery could make him a "shell of his former self" in the ring, but insists he still has unfinished business with the Klitschkos should he ever return to boxing.

Haye, 33, has been advised to retire from the sport by doctors after going under the knife to repair a ruptured subscapularis and bicep tendon attachments.

He also pulled out of his scheduled February 8 bout with Tyson Fury - a decision which has been met with anger from the Fury camp - but has stopped short of confirming his days are numbered despite the advice.

Haye is wary of the implications of a return if he is not 100%, and believes his ability to deliver his trademark 'Hayemaker' will be a key factor in his decision down the line.

He told Sky Sports: "There's a long way back currently. I've got six pins in my shoulder and really don't have any idea what the story is going to be. As long as my arm can function properly I will want to come back but it's important.

"If you took the right hook away from Joe Frazier, or the jab away from Muhammad Ali, they would be different fighters and without the Hayemaker I would be a shell of my former self."

While still undecided on his future, Haye admits he would eye a rematch with Wladimir to avenge the defeat to the youngest Klitschko brother in 2011.

"I still don't think I was at my best in that fight against Wladimir," he said.

"If I can make it back that is still a fight I would want but it all depends on whether I can get back into the ring and be back to my best."

Haye has already retired from boxing once before - but was tempted out following a brawl with Dereck Chisora which resulted in a heavily criticised fight at Upton Park in July last year.

But when asked what his legacy in the sport would be, Haye believes he will be remembered as one of the greats by boxing fans should he decide to retire now.

"Hopefully they will remember me as one of the best cruiserweights of all time - I think I'm second behind Evander Holyfield," he said.

"I've never been the biggest guy in the ring but was always someone who took on the biggest and did some things not many people believed I could do, like winning the world title.

"If this is it for me I have achieved what I wanted to by becoming champion of the world - I said when I was three years old I wanted to be world champion and I did it so I won't have any regrets. I have achieved all my goals, including being undisputed champion as a cruiserweight, so if this is it then so be it."

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