David Haye

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David Haye
David Haye.png
Haye in 2006
Real name David Deron Haye
Nickname(s) The Hayemaker
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)[1]
Reach 78 in (198 cm)
Nationality British
Born (1980-10-13) 13 October 1980 (age 40)
Bermondsey, London,
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 28
Wins 26
Wins by KO 24
Losses 2

David Deron Haye (born 13 October 1980) is a British professional boxer and two-time former world champion. Widely recognised as one of the best boxers of his generation, he is the first British boxer to reach the final of the World Amateur Boxing Championships, where he won a silver medal in 2001. As a professional he became the first British boxer to become a unified cruiserweight world champion in 2008, winning three out of the four major world titles, as well as The Ring magazine title. He then moved up to heavyweight and became the WBA champion in 2009 after defeating Nikolai Valuev, who had a world record 11 inches and 7 stone advantage on Haye. Along with Evander Holyfield, Haye is one of only two boxers to have unified the cruiserweight world titles and become a world heavyweight champion.

Haye is an unorthodox style of fighter who relies heavily on his speed and athleticism, and also carries exceptional punching power which has earned him the nickname of "The Hayemaker". He boasts an 86% knockout ratio and has defeated six world champions in Arthur Williams, Giacobbe Fragomeni, Jean-Marc Mormeck, Enzo Maccarinelli, Nikolai Valuev, and John Ruiz. Haye also founded his own boxing promotional firm, Hayemaker Promotions, in 2008.

Early Life and education

Haye grew up among the town houses of the Peabody Estate, near the famous Tate Modern Gallery and around the corner from the South Bank tourist attraction, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.[2] Haye went to school at the highly reputed Bacon’s College. His College principal Tony Perry remembers Haye as a ‘very athletic, very smart young man’. Haye started his ambition and passion for boxing at old-school boxing gym Fitzroy Lodge Boxing Club in Lambeth, South London, where he quickly impressed and confidently won his first amateur bouts. Mick Carney, who ran the gym where David began training from 10 years old said of Haye; ‘He could whack as a kid. I think he chinned about three kids. But that made it really hard to get him matches. When you’ve got three first-round knockouts on your card everybody runs for the hills. David was a lovely kid. He comes from a beautiful, loving family. He wasn’t on the streets. He went to school, came to the gym, went home. His family bestowed love and affection on him. Bermondsey might have been bad, but he, his brother and his sister were nice people from a nice family.’[2]

Amateur and World Amateur Boxing Championships

In 1999, 18-year-old Haye participated at the world amateur championships in Houston, Texas, USA at light-heavyweight where he KO'd the then ABA light-heavyweight champion Courtney Fry, but missed out on the 2000 Sydney Olympics after a controversial defeat in the qualifier after being eliminated by experienced American Michael Simms early in the contest.

At the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland he fought in the heavyweight 201-lb. division where he beat world class Sebastian Köber to reach the final where he gave Odlanier Solís a standing eight count before being stopped by the Cuban in round three, and taking the silver medal.

Professional career


Based in Bermondsey, London, England, Haye turned professional in December 2002, aged 22. In his first fight he defeated by way of knockout, Hull-based Tony Booth.[3]

In 2003 he won fights, two of which were the only fights he has fought in the United States. He won all by knockouts, the most notable being a fourth round KO of Denmark's Lolenga Mock, in which Haye had to come off the floor to win.

Haye's fights were regularly seen on the BBC and his popularity began to grow in 2004, when he dispatched the 39-year-old ex-world champion "King" Arthur Williams in three rounds.

Later that year, in his eleventh pro fight, he fought 40-year-old former WBO champion Carl Thompson in a 'youth vs experience' matchup. Haye started fast and alarmingly caught Thompson with constant barrages of power punches, coming close to forcing a stoppage at numerous points over the first few rounds.

Gradually, despite the early punishment he received, Thompson warmed up and worked his way into the fight whilst Haye seemed to tire and slow down. Thompson began to pressure Haye and knocked Haye down with a chopping right hand in round 5. With seven seconds left in the round, Thompson landed two jabs followed by a flush right hand which cleanly caught a fatigued Haye, and compelled Haye's corner to throw in the towel, Haye was leading on all 3 score cards before the stoppage.

Haye returned against Estonian Valery Semishkur, winning by TKO in round 1, then defeated Garry Delaney by a third round TKO. Following two more fights against Glen Kelly and Vincenzo Rossitto, Haye faced Alexander Gurov for the EBU cruiserweight championship. Haye easily knocked out Gurov with a single right hand in just 45 seconds.

In January 2006, Haye signed a three-year contract with former Lennox Lewis promoter Frank Maloney to further his world title ambitions. He successfully defended his EBU title against Ismail Abdoul. He defeated Giacobbe Fragomeni, when he dramatically broke through the Italian's defences in the ninth round, finally flooring his man in a flurry of punches. Haye had waited seven years for the opportunity to turn the tables on Fragomeni, who controversially out-pointed him as an amateur in the final qualifying tournament for the Sydney Games.

Haye's cameo at heavyweight in April 2007 resulted in an impressive first-round KO win over Polish fighter Tomasz Bonin,[4] who at the time was ranked No. 9 by the WBC and had only one loss, against Audley Harrison. Haye admitted he was taking "a crazy step up" when he fought world-ranked heavyweight Bonin at Wembley Arena. Haye said in a post fight interview "If you asked me when I was three years old, I'd say I'm going to be the heavyweight champion of world. I never said cruiserweight. "It's what I wanted to do since I can remember. I always wanted to be the main man in boxing. "I want everyone to recognise I can beat every other boxer in the world. "That's why I'm fighting the guy I'm fighting. I really want to prove to everyone I am the man." [5]

World cruiserweight champion

Haye challenged Jean-Marc Mormeck on 10 November 2007 for the WBA, WBC, and The Ring cruiserweight titles. During the bout Haye unleashed a frightening combination made up of a right upper cut, left, then right hook to floor Mormeck. The technical knockout was all the more remarkable after Haye was put on the canvas in the fourth round. The win meant Haye became Britain's sixth world champion. "I worked my way back into the fight and showed great heart," Seventeen weeks of hard work have paid off. Haye defeated Mormeck by knockout in the seventh round.[6] The victory confirmed Haye's arrival as a genuine world class fighter. At this point Haye is made his initial mark on history as Britain's first two-belt cruiserweight champion.

The Mormeck fight was expected to be Haye's last fight in the cruiserweight division. Haye himself admitted that he struggles to make weight and feels that he can only box at "70 or 80 per cent" of his potential as a cruiserweight.[this quote needs a citation] However Haye would be tempted into a unification cruiserweight bout for the most lucrative fight of his career.

Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli met in an all-British world cruiserweight title fight in the early hours of 9 March 2008. Haye's WBA, WBC, and The Ring titles were at stake, while Maccarinelli's WBO title was on the line. British trade paper Boxing News produced a pullout special on the match, which was widely billed as the biggest all-British bout since Chris Eubank met Nigel Benn. As both fighters are hard punchers with excellent KO records, a short fight was predicted.[7] These predictions proved to be correct, as Haye knocked out Maccarinelli in the second round of the contest. Commenting on the fight and of the prospect of working again with Frank Warren, Maccarinelli's promoter, Haye said, "We thank Frank for sacrificing Maccarinelli, but we'd feel immense guilt if we took any more free money from Sports Network. I have a hard enough time sleeping at night as it is."[8]


Haye described the victory over Maccarinelli as "the final piece" in his cruiserweight jigsaw. Haye then defeated heavyweight Monte Barrett at The O2 Arena in London on 15 November 2008, winning via TKO in the fifth round.[9]

WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko confirmed he would defend his title in a fight with Haye to take place on 20 June 2009, at Stamford Bridge in London. Instead, his younger brother, WBO, IBO and IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko agreed to fight Haye the same date in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Haye pulled out of the fight claiming a back injury.[10]

WBA heavyweight champion

Haye then confirmed that he would meet the WBA champion Nikolay Valuev on 7 November 2009 in the Nuremberg Arena, Nuremberg, Germany. Haye's former trainer Adam Booth claimed it was a fight that Valuev wanted; it was billed as David and Goliath.[11] Haye weighed in at 217 pounds, almost 100 pounds less than his opponent. Haye said about Valuev: "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."[12]

Haye beat Valuev in a reserved display of accuracy and efficiency, countering Valuev's misses, jabbing and circling his much larger opponent.[13] Haye came close to knocking out Valuev in the final round with a hard left hand, which made Valuev stumble. Haye won a majority decision with scores of 114–114, 116–112 and 116–112.[14] Haye is the first and currently only boxer in the history of the sport to be seven stone or more lighter than an opponent in a World title fight and still come out victorious.[citation needed]

On 3 April 2010 Haye defeated John Ruiz in his first WBA title defence at the Manchester Arena by TKO in the ninth round after knocking him down four times during the fight. This was only the second time Ruiz has been stopped, after being knocked out in round one by David Tua fourteen years prior to facing David Haye. After the fight, Haye immediately called on both Klitschko brothers, after claiming their recent challengers Eddie Chambers and Chris Arreola were "a disgrace to boxing."

It was confirmed on 7 September 2010 that Haye would fight Audley Harrison on 13 November 2010 at the Manchester Arena. The press conference for the bout became heated, leading to the two fighters swearing at each other on live television.[15] On 13 November 2010, Haye defeated Harrison with one minute, seven seconds remaining of the third round by TKO. Southpaw Harrison landed one jab during the entire fight. He staggered to his feet after being knocked down, only for Haye to immediately pounce right back on him, hitting him with another flurry of punches. The referee intervened and ended the bout.[16]

Haye's plans to unify the heavyweight division took a major setback in January 2011 when it was revealed that Tomas Adamek would fight one of the Klitschko brothers in September 2011,[17] before his planned retirement in October of that year. However, in April 2011, it was announced that Haye and Wladimir Klitschko had agreed to meet at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg on 2 July 2011.[18]

Wladimir Klitschko vs David Haye

Wladimir Klitschko versus David Haye was a heavyweight unification fight for the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring heavyweight titles, the fight taking place at the Imtech Arena, Hamburg, Germany on 2 July 2011[19][20][21] This was the only heavyweight unification fight since Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov fought back in 2008. It was then when Wladimir Klitschko beat Ibragimov and added his WBO title to his IBF title. Klitschko defeated Haye by a unanimous decision to become the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring heavyweight champion.[22][23] Haye had a broken toe that allegedly inhibited him from pushing off his back foot during the fight, and showed little or none of his usual explosiveness in the ring. The official scores were: 118–108, 117–109 & 116–110, which were all in favour of Klitschko.[24]


BBC chief Charlie Smith told The Sun on 11 October 2011 that David Haye had informed him that he would not be renewing his boxing licence, thus retiring from the sport.[25] Haye has had a long-standing plan to retire early. After the Harrison fight Haye said his plans to retire before he is 31 had not altered: "I will have achieved what I wanted to achieve – undisputed cruiserweight champion, unify the heavyweight division and then call it a day." In December 2010, during the negotiations to fight Wladimir Klitschko, Haye said if the fight did not happen, "I'll just have to accept that becoming the WBA champion was enough and move on with my life. That'll be 20 years of getting punched in the face, which is a long enough time. I set my goals and achieved them so unifying the titles is the cherry on the cake but if it doesn't happen it wasn't meant to be and I've just got to get on with my life".[26]

Vitali Klitschko vs David Haye negotiations

Haye put retirement on hold and was in negotiations for a possible bout with WBC heavyweight title holder Vitali Klitschko on 3 March 2012.[27][28] However, Klitschko went on to schedule a fight with Dereck Chisora on 18 February 2012, which he won by decision. Following the fight there was a fracas between Chisora and Haye, who had attended as a spectator, leading to speculation that Haye might come out of retirement to fight Chisora. However, on 21 February, Haye confirmed that he would only come out of retirement to fight Klitschko.[29] On 8 May, Haye signed on to face Dereck Chisora on 14 July.

David Haye vs Dereck Chisora

Press conference brawl

After his loss to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, Dereck Chisora got into a brawl with compatriot David Haye at the post-fight press conference. Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente said "with the bad experience we've had with British fighters we will now look for other countries". He then told Haye from the dais "You had an offer, you didn't accept it, now you are out. You are out. You cannot talk yourself back into the fight, you have no belts." Chisora then called out Haye, but Haye dismissed Chisora as "a loser". Chisora challenged Haye to tell him that to his face and approached Haye sparking a melee with Haye throwing the first punch with what appeared to be a glass bottle in his hand, as the brawl progressed Haye was seen swinging a camera tripod. After order was restored, a furious Chisora stated multiple times that he would "shoot" David Haye and claimed Haye "glassed" him. Haye's former manager Adam Booth emerged from the fracas with a facial wound and Chisora suggested to Booth that Haye hit him with a bottle by mistake while Booth insisted it was one of Chisora's entourage that had hit him with a bottle . During an interview at the Chisora Vs Haye press conference Booth was asked "how did you end up with a cut on your head?" to which he replied "David hit me with a tripod" but also added "he bought me a new S-class Mercedes as an apology".[30][31]

Fight negotiations

On 8 May 2012, Haye and his promotion team announced that he would fight against Dereck Chisora at Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, London on 14 July 2012.[32] The announcement caused controversy as neither held a British Boxing Licence, and so had agreed a licence deal with the Luxembourg Boxing Association. Seen as a direct attempt to undermine the British Boxing Board of Control, it meant that fights could take place in Britain even if a boxer was facing disciplinary action.

The Fight

Haye won the fight with a fifth round stoppage in front of over 40,000 spectators. Knocked to the floor in the fifth round, receiving a count of eight, Chisora recovered only to be floored again in the same round. Referee Luis Pabon decided Chisora was unable to continue signalling the end of the contest.[33]

David Haye vs Tyson Fury

Haye was due to fight Manuel Charr at Manchester Arena on 29 June 2013.[34] However, the fight was called off because Haye had suffered an injury. Haye later arranged a fight with Tyson Fury at the same venue on 28 September 2013.[35] However, a week before the fight, David Haye sustained a cut to the head which required several stitches, so yet again the fight was postponed. It was originally rescheduled for 8 February 2014.[36] However Haye dropped out of the fight on 17 November 2013 after shoulder surgery. Although doctors advised Haye to retire from boxing, he never officially announced his retirement.[37]

Split with Trainer

In September 2014 it emerged that Haye had split with his long-time trainer Adam Booth.[38] He has since employed the services of trainer Shane McGuigan, son of WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan.[39]

De Mori comeback fight

On 24 November 2015, Haye and his new promotion and management team, Salter Brothers Entertainment, announced his comeback fight against WBF heavyweight champion Mark de Mori. The fight is scheduled to take place on 16 January 2016 (marketed as "Haye Day") at the O2 Arena in London, and will be Haye's first fight in more than three years since stopping Derick Chisora in 2012. Coming into the fight, Australian De Mori has lost only once in 33 career bouts and 26 of his 29 victories have come via knockout. De Mori is currently ranked #10 in the WBA's official heavyweight rankings.[40] It was announced on 6th January 2016 that Haye's comeback fight against De Mori would be shown on free-to-air entertainment channel Dave, the largest non-PBS broadcaster in the UK. Haye commented on the broadcast deal, stating: "I'm a young 35, in boxing terms, and still have my explosive speed and punching power. I'm looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans on 'Haye Day' at The O2 on January 16 and I'm delighted that my first fight in three-and-a-half years is going to be available free to air on Dave, giving as many people as possible the chance to watch my comeback. I was determined to make this comeback fight free to everybody and fans should sit back and get ready for another fun-fuelled ride as I look to regain the heavyweight championship of the world."[41]

Media career

Haye created his own documentary reality show, David Haye versus, under his production company Hayemaker Productions, which was broadcast on Sky 1 from 28 to 29 June 2011. It featured him training and in conversation with A-lister friends he recruited for the show that included Ricky Gervais, Justin Bieber, Michael McIntyre, Dizzee Rascal, and Mickey Rourke.

Personal life

David was born to a white English mother and black Jamaican father and grew up in Bermondsey, London for most of his childhood. He has an older sister Louisa and a younger brother James. Haye attended Bacon's College in Rotherhithe, South East London.

Haye lives in Beckenham.[42] He is married to Natasha and has a son called Cassius, named after Cassius Clay. He supports London football team Millwall.[43]

Haye is a UK citizen, having previously held dual Northern Cyprus citizenship in 2010.[44] In 2007 and 2008 his training camp was based in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus, and he has sometimes worn the Northern Cyprus flag on his shorts alongside the Flag of St. George, the Union Flag and the Jamaican Flag. In November 2012 Haye took part in the twelfth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, in which he finished third.

In early 2014, Haye became vegan.[45] He also launched his own range of vegan protein.[46] David gave up eating animal products at the beginning of 2014 and was immediately open about his reasons for doing so. "I watched a TV documentary about how animals are farmed, killed and prepared for us to eat", he explained. "I saw all those cows and pigs and realised I couldn’t be a part of it any more. It was horrible. I did some research to make sure I could still obtain enough protein to fight and, once satisfied that I could, I stopped. I’ll never go back."[47] He was named PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Celebrities of 2014 in UK.[47]


He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University on 20 October 2010.

He was selected for the final 10 shortlist for the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award[48] for his performance in the matches in which he had successfully defended his title from challengers Ruiz and Harrison.

Professional boxing record

28 fights, 26 wins (24 knockouts), 2 losses (1 knockout)[49]
Result Record Opponent Type Round,
Date Location Notes
N/A N/A Mark de Mori N/A – (10) 2016-01-16 The O2 Arena, London, England
Win 26–2 Dereck Chisora TKO 5 (10),
2012-07-14 Boleyn Ground, London, England Won WBO International heavyweight title.
Loss 25–2 Wladimir Klitschko UD 12 2011-07-02 Imtech Arena, Hamburg, Germany Lost WBA heavyweight title.
For WBO, IBF, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles.
Win 25–1 Audley Harrison TKO 3 (12),
2010-11-13 Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Retained WBA heavyweight title.
Win 24–1 John Ruiz TKO 9 (12),
2010-04-03 Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Retained WBA heavyweight title.
Win 23–1 Nikolai Valuev MD 12 2009-11-07 Nuremberg Arena, Nuremberg, Germany Won WBA heavyweight title.
Win 22–1 Monte Barrett TKO 5 (10),
2008-11-15 O2 Arena, London, England
Win 21–1 Enzo Maccarinelli TKO 2 (12),
2008-03-08 O2 Arena, London, England Retained WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring cruiserweight titles.
Won WBO cruiserweight title.
Win 20–1 Jean-Marc Mormeck TKO 7 (12),
2007-11-10 Stade Marcel Cerdan, Paris, France Won WBA (Super), WBC and The Ring cruiserweight titles.
Win 19–1 Tomasz Bonin TKO 1 (12),
2007-04-27 Wembley Arena, London, England
Win 18–1 Giacobbe Fragomeni TKO 9 (12),
2006-11-17 York Hall, London, England Retained European cruiserweight title.
WBC cruiserweight eliminator.
Win 17–1 Ismail Abdoul UD 12 2006-07-21 Leisure Centre, Altrincham, England Retained European cruiserweight title.
Win 16–1 Lasse Johansen TKO 8 (12),
2006-03-24 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London Retained European cruiserweight title.
Win 15–1 Alexander Gurov KO 1 (12),
2005-12-16 Leisure Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire Won European cruiserweight title.
Win 14–1 Vincenzo Rossitto TKO 2 (10),
2005-10-14 Leisure Centre, Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Win 13–1 Glen Kelly TKO 2 (10),
2005-03-04 Magna Centre, Rotherham, Yorkshire
Win 12–1 Garry Delaney TKO 3 (6),
2005-01-21 Fountain Leisure Centre, Brentford, London
Win 11–1 Valeri Semiskur KO 1 (6),
2004-12-10 Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield, Yorkshire
Loss 10–1 Carl Thompson TKO 5 (12) 2004-09-10 Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Win 10–0 Arthur Williams TKO 3 (8),
2004-05-12 Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading, Berkshire
Win 9–0 Hastings Rasani TKO 1 (6),
2004-03-20 Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
Win 8–0 Tony Dowling TKO 1 (10),
2003-11-14 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London Won British cruiserweight title.
Win 7–0 Lolenga Mock TKO 4 (6),
2003-09-26 Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading, Berkshire
Win 6–0 Greg Scott-Briggs KO 1 (6),
2003-08-01 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London
Win 5–0 Vance Winn TKO 1 (6),
2003-07-15 The Playboy Mansion, Beverly Hills, California
Win 4–0 Phil Day TKO 2 (4),
2003-03-18 Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading, Berkshire
Win 3–0 Roger Bowden TKO 1 (6),
2003-03-04 Seville Hotel, Miami, Florida
Win 2–0 Saber Zairi TKO 4 (4),
2003-01-24 Ponds Forge Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire
Win 1–0 Tony Booth TKO 2 (4),
2002-12-08 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London Professional debut.


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External links

Preceded by
Jean-Marc Mormeck
WBC Cruiserweight Champion
10 November 2007 – 12 May 2008
Title next held by
Giacobbe Fragomeni
WBA Cruiserweight Super Champion
10 November 2007 – 12 May 2008
Succeeded by
Firat Arslan
as Champion
The Ring Cruiserweight Champion
10 November 2007 – 23 May 2008
Title next held by
Tomasz Adamek
Preceded by
Enzo Maccarinelli
WBO Cruiserweight Champion
8 March 2008 – 12 May 2008
Title next held by
Victor Emilio Ramirez
Preceded by
Nikolai Valuev
WBA Heavyweight Champion
7 November 2009 – 2 July 2011
Lost bid for Super Title
Succeeded by
Wladimir Klitschko
as Super Champion
Title next held by
Alexander Povetkin
as Regular Champion