Harry Pratt

Haye keeps his word, retires…for now

English heavyweight David Haye is effectively ending his career – temporarily at least – by not renewing his fighter’s license with the British Boxing Board of Control.

Former WBA titleholder Haye had always maintained he would retire from the ring by his 31st birthday and, with that day looming large this Thursday, appears to have remained true to his word.

According to reports on Tuesday in English newspaper The Sun, Haye, who lost his WBA crown to all-conquering Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in July, informed the British boxing authorities at the start of the week that he would not be re-applying for his license — as all fighters must do every year.

“I received an email on Monday advising me Haye would not be carrying on,” confirmed BBBC secretary Robert Smith. “The board will consider it on Wednesday. But there is no way we could go against his wish not to renew his boxing license. Without it, he cannot fight.”

Whether that means Haye (25-2, 23 knockouts) is hanging up the gloves for good, however, remains to be seen. Many reckoned the cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight would shelve retirement plans for another shot at RING champion and four-belt holder Klitschko — or a first crack at his older brother Vitali, the WBC holder.

The south Londoner suggested as much towards the end of last month. And now the Klitschkos’ manager, Bernd Boente, has cast further doubt on the matter by stating he is in live talks with Hayemaker counterpart, Adam Booth, over a meeting between Haye and Vitali early next year in Germany.

“David Haye’s manager Adam Booth always told me that he will officially retire on Thursday… but that he would definitely come back if there is a fight against Vitali or a rematch against Wladimir. So this option is still there,” Boente told Sky Sports News. “Adam and myself actually just spoke with each other five minutes ago and we are in constant contact. We are still waiting for some numbers from British TV and then we’ll see if the business case is realistic. Then we will either do the fight or Vitali will fight another opponent in February or March next year.

“A re-match with Wladimir makes no sense because there are no questions after the first fight and you can only promote a fight if there is a certain thrill. But against Vitali it’s different. Vitali has a totally different style. Vitali said after the fight (in July) he wants to finish what his brother didn’t do — meaning knock out David Haye and David said he likes Vitali’s style, and that it would fit him more.”

An official announcement from Haye and Booth, who together run Hayemaker promotions, is expected at a press conference this Thursday in London.


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