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09 December 2023

Haye makes short work of Mori in comeback win

David Haye celebrates his win over Mark de Mori at The O2 Arena, London - 16/1/16. (Action Images via Reuters)


Britain's former world heavyweight champion David Haye marked his return to the ring with a comfortable first-round win over Australian journeyman Mark de Mori at London's O2 Arena on Saturday.

In his first fight for three-and-a-half years following a career-threatening shoulder injury, the 35-year-old Haye needed just two minutes and 11 seconds to see off de Mori, who was sent to the canvas by a strong right hand and scrappy combination before failing to beat referee Robert Williams's count.

Haye, also a former world cruiserweight champion, is now looking for a bout with British rising star Anthony Joshua given he will have to wait a while for a clash with compatriot Tyson Fury, who holds the WBA version of the world heavyweight titles.

"Tyson Fury is pretty clear about not wanting to fight me," Haye said shortly after defeating de Mori.

"I said I'll work my way up the rankings, and he said he'd relinquish the belts instead of fight me so why bother (pursuing him)?

"Why not go for bigger, better fights? A bigger fight's Anthony Joshua. I believe that fight can be made later on in the year. I'm in shape, I'm punching hard. I'm a little bit older. It'll make for a great fight. That's the type of fight I want, that's why I'm back in boxing. It's the big fights, I need that."

He added: "Fury's a good fighter. You don't go to Germany and do what he did (in beating Wladimir Klitschko). It's a shame he doesn't want to fight me but I think we all know why when you see power like that (tonight).

"I want to unify the heavyweight division. I set my plan out to do that many years ago and I fell short.

"I'm going to make a serious run at this heavyweight division. There are titles all over the place at the moment and it'll take someone like me to clean it up."

London-born Haye defeated giant Russian Nikolai Valuev to become WBA heavyweight champion in November 2009, but lost his crown to Wladimir Klitschko in July 2011.