David Haye, the former two-weight world champion, has today announced his return to professional boxing with a heavyweight bout against Australia’s Mark De Mori on Saturday January 16, 2016, at The O2 in London.
Haye’s long-awaited comeback was officially confirmed at a press conference at The O2 this morning after the Bermondsey-born fighter revealed last week that he was back in the gym under the tutelage of Shane McGuigan, who also trains the Irish world champion Carl Frampton.
The fight will be Haye’s first since defeating Dereck Chisora at Upton Park three and a half years ago and sees him take on a top 10 WBA ranked heavyweight in De Mori who boasts a record of 30 wins (26 KOs), 2 draws and 1 defeat, since turning pro in 2004. De Mori is undefeated since September 2004 and most recently claimed a first round knock-out of Germany’s Marcel Zeller in October.
The Hayemaker, who is widely recognised as one of the best British boxers of his generation, was the first British boxer to become a unified cruiserweight champion in 2008, winning three out of the four major world titles, as well as The Ring magazine title.
Haye then moved up to heavyweight and won the WBA title in 2009 after defeating Russian giant Nikolai Valuev and in the process became only second boxer in history to have unified the cruiserweight titles and won a heavyweight world championship.
Commenting on his return, Haye said: “I can’t wait to get back in the ring with my hometown crowd behind me. I’ve been away three and a half years and was unable to contemplate a return for much of that due to injury but I’m now fit and healthy and have the desire to reclaim the world title. In boxing terms, I’m a young 35 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.”
De Mori, who was present at today’s press conference at The O2, said: “I’m grateful to David for giving me the opportunity to fight in London for what will be a fantastic event. David has been a great champion but I fully believe this is a fight I will win which will be a major step in securing a world title shot in the future.”
‘Haye Day’ will be promoted by David’s own production company Hayemaker Boxing Ltd, together with entertainment, media and marketing company, Salter Brothers Entertainment and support from The O2.
Tickets for the fight go on pre-sale to O2 Priority customers at 9am on Wednesday November 25 and will be on general sale through axs.com from 9am on Friday November 27.