Haye vs. Gjergjaj: Let’s go, champ!

By Robert Ecksel on March 31, 2016
Haye vs. Gjergjaj: Let’s go, champ!
“Don’t touch me y’all. Do yourself a favor. Don’t touch me.” (News Group Newspapers Ltd.)

Shannon Briggs made a statement, which bordered on the feverish, but did nothing to further his quixotic pursuit of boxing’s Holy Grail…

David Haye’s quest to regain the heavyweight title continues.

But he is not alone.

On Saturday May 21, at The O2 in London , England, the former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, in his second fight since ending his three and half year hiatus, will face little known Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0, 21 KOs), from Pratteln, Switzerland, by way of Gjakova, Kosovo.

After beheading Mark de Mori inside a round in January in his first fight back, it was thought that Haye, having gotten his feet wet, might give himself and his fans a little more bang for their buck. Gjergjaj is undefeated. Gjergjaj is big. He has sparred with Fury and Klitschko. All of his fights have been in Switzerland, except for a 2011 fight in Hungary. He is ranked #35 by the WBC.

“It feels nice to be back again and getting in the ring so soon,” said Haye. “I said from the start I wanted to fight regularly and get some momentum back in my career. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Every two to three months I want to be knocking somebody out and working my way back into title contention.

“My comeback fight was a big success in my eyes and next up I wanted an opponent who is bigger than me, undefeated and is fast and can move. The top guys in the division are all taller than me and so I wanted an opponent who is taller than me, so that I’m punching upwards and I’ve got that in Gjergjaj.”

In his defense Haye said, “Fighting a big heavyweight like Gjergjaj has really got my juices flowing, taking a unbeaten fighter’s ‘0’ from him always makes the victory that much sweeter. Expect another explosive knockout.”

That is what everyone expects.

“The reaction to the first Haye Day event was incredible with a sell-out crowd at The O2,” continued Haye, “music acts, A-List guests like Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch, and let’s not forget breaking TV viewing records with a 3.2 million peak audience on Dave. May’s Haye Day will be even bigger and better.”

Bigger is better and David Haye is David Haye.

By the same token, Shannon Briggs, who crashed the presser, is irredeemably Shannon Briggs.

Briggs made a statement, which bordered on the feverish, but did nothing to further his quixotic pursuit of boxing’s Holy Grail.

“Yeah, it’s the champ!” hollered Briggs, just in case anyone has any doubt.

Security tried to stop his march toward the dais.

“Don’t touch me, y’all. Don’t touch me. Do yourself a favor. Don’t touch me. I can talk from wherever I want to talk. Just do yourself a favor. Don’t touch the champ.”

There was a moment of silence that didn’t last.

“Let’s go, champ!” said Briggs. “David! I got you on camera. Do me a favor, champ. Tell the people back at home why you fighting him, who we never heard of, instead of me. I came to your country for a fight. Let’s go, champ! We need an answer, champ! We need an answer!”

Security tried edging Briggs out of the room.

“Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ!”

David Haye moved toward the microphone on the lectern. Appearing calm, he leaned forward and asked Briggs, “Can you pass a brain scan? That’s the question we need to know.”

Not surprisingly, Briggs had an answer.

“Any time, any day, I just had eight fights. MRIs, everything done, champ. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m 44 years old and I’m in better shape than when I was 24 years old. He’s a chump, y’all. Who’s he fighting? Who is this guy?”

Briggs looked at Gjergjaj and said, “We never heard of you. Who are you? Who are you? Who? Let’s go, champ! Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? Who are you, champ?”

Haye asked Briggs, “Do you want a payday or do you think you can genuinely beat me? This guy’s undefeated.”

Briggs shouted, “We never heard of him. I’ll knock him out right now. Let’s go, champ! What’s up? Tell your country why you ain’t fighting him instead of me. If I’m so old, if I’m so washed up—.”

Haye got a word in edgewise.

“If you pass your medical, if you pass your brain scan,” he told Briggs, “we can talk about it.”

Briggs wasn’t buying what Haye was selling.

“He’s scared of me y’all. He’s scared of me. Hey, yo, he’s scared of me. London, he’s scared of me. Don’t believe the hype. He’s a fraud. I’m ready to fight right now. I came to London ready to fight. I’m looking for a payday. He came back looking for a payday.”

Briggs lifted his shirt.

“Look at me!” he said. “I’m in shape! I’m in top shape! Look at me! Let’s go, champ!”

With 40 feet separating them, Haye laid out some conditions which Briggs rejected.

“He’s a chump!” said Briggs. “He don’t want to fight! Get your money back. He don’t want to fight. Get your refund right now. He don’t want to fight nobody. Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ! Get your money back. Ask him why he ain’t fighting the real champ. Let’s go, champ! London is mine! Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury—they all frauds. I come here to prove it, an American, came to London looking for static and ain’t nobody said nothing. He’s a chump. Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ! It’s the champ, Shannon the Cannon. Let’s go, champ! Let’s go, champ!”

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  1. Eric 10:50am, 03/31/2016

    What do you call that type of hairstyle that David Haye is sporting? Troglodyte/Jimmy Castor wig.

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