David Haye: “The boxing gods have spoken”

By Robert Ecksel on June 12, 2018
David Haye: “The boxing gods have spoken”
There’s nothing sweet about the science Haye describes, but no one escapes unscathed.

“The boxing gods have spoken,” said Haye. “They will no longer protect me with the freakish speed and power I used to possess…”

Thirty-seven-year-old David Haye (28-4, 26 KOs), the former heavyweight world champion from Bermondsey, London, United Kingdom, has announced his retirement from the ring.

Despite having been beset with injuries that derailed much of the second half of his career, Haye put his athleticism to good use. He had a respectable career. He made some money. He made a name for himself.

“I have given my heart and soul to boxing for 27 years,” said Haye in a written statement. “It was in the second half of my career where I really discovered what it meant to fight and be a fighter.

“If I had it my way, I would have fought as many as 16 times in the second half, the last eight years. But, unfortunately, during this time my faulty body only allowed me to step through the ropes on seven occasions—four wins, three losses—and often it was a fight just getting to the ring in one piece.

“In the past five years I have snapped (fully ruptured) both biceps, my rotator cuff and my Achilles tendon “All four injuries were potentially career-ending and each of them required operations with months of intense rehabilitation.

“The biggest physical challenge I had to face, however, was a spinal surgery in March 2015. I herniated a disc in my lower back 10 years ago and years of intense training wore this disc away. This caused fragments of disc to push into my spinal nerve passage, resulting in chronic pain and loss of function in both legs, and an operation was required to put a two-centimetre metal cage between two vertebrae and implant two metal rods with screws and bone grafts to fuse it all together.”

There’s nothing sweet about the science Haye describes, but no one escapes unscathed.

“I went into surgery 191 centimetres tall and came out 193—not a bad silver lining!—but literally had to learn to walk again. This made my comeback fight against Mark de Mori (in January 2016) all the more meaningful, as it was only 10 months after such intrusive spinal surgery (as well as being my first fight in four-and-a-half years).

“Ultimately, this was one battle I had to fight in private, and it’s only because the process was recorded for a documentary that people will one day be able to grasp the severity of the situation.”

It sounds like Haye did everything but return from the dead to participate in the sport he loves.

“Thanks to boxing, I have been able to live my unencumbered childhood dream, a dream my dad, Deron, facilitated the moment he took me to Fitzroy Lodge amateur boxing club as a nervous 10-year-old.”

It has been a long journey, satisfying on one hand, frustrating as hell on the other.

“The boxing gods have spoken,” added Haye. “They will no longer protect me with the freakish speed and power I used to possess. And without these God-given gifts, I completely lose my edge.”

Haye’s complete statement can be read here.

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  1. Balaamsass 06:26pm, 06/12/2018

    Suoer Middleweight Lolenga Mock came within an inch of KOing this asshat…..Cruiser Carl Thompson did KO him and now Bellew has KOd’d him twice and put him out of his misery! He made his bones KOing Enzo Maccarinelli for Christ’s sake!  Shame on you Wlad….shame on you….just how Goddamned bad was your chin any Goddamned way….was it even as sturdy as David Price’s?!  You fought him like it was the Challenge of the GoBots!

  2. Lucas McCain 03:55pm, 06/12/2018

    Well, he can have his self-mythologies now that no one will be paying for them on cable.  I was in England a few years ago and saw his magazine—I think it was called Hayemaker.  Very weird collection of sports, fashion,  and soft-core porn.  Too unpleasant to buy for the flight home, but it might have made for an amusing souvenir.

  3. Ollie Downtown Brown 01:44pm, 06/12/2018

    “freakish speed and power?” Ahem, ease up a bit there, Mr. Haye, you weren’t exactly the second coming of Mike Tyson.

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