Former heavyweight titleholder David Haye has called a press conference for this Thursday when he is expected to confirm his return to the ring, reportedly pencilled in for June 28 in his home city of London, Eng., against an as yet unnamed opponent.
The 32-year-old British star last fought in July 2012 when he stopped Dereck Chisora in the fifth round of a controversial grudge clash. Although staged in the UK, the bout had to be sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Commission as neither Englishman held a license with the British Boxing Board of Control at the time.
However, the BBBoC recently confirmed Haye, THE RING’s No. 3-ranked heavyweight, has reapplied for his license and that it will be granted pending routine pre-fight medical tests.
That sparked a flood of rumour and speculation that the south Londoner is about to come out of retirement despite always insisting he would only do so for a crack at one of the all-conquering Klitschko brothers – preferably WBC beltholder Vitali.
But with no offer of an immediate title shot forthcoming – indeed 41-year-old Vitali told BBC sport on Wednesday that Haye (26-2, 24 knockouts) will have to wait in line as he is now making a mandatory defense instead – it seems the former undisputed cruiserweight champ and one-time WBA heavyweight beltholder is embarking on an alternative route back to the summit.
Ultimately, though, with RING champ Wladimir Klitschko holding the IBF, WBO and WBA belts, all roads one way or another lead to the Ukrainians.
An interesting side note to Haye’s latest comeback is who wins the broadcasting rights in Britain.
Frank Warren and his Box Nation channel could do with a boost after the British promoter recently lost WBO lightweight holder Ricky Burns and super middleweight contender George Groves to bitter rival Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport, who has a tie up with Sky Sports.
Warren, having promoted Haye-Chisora at Upton Park last summer, may hold the edge in clinching a short-term deal between Box Nation and Hayemaker Promotions.
Photo / Scott Heavey-Getty Images