Former WBA Heavyweight Champion, David Haye, is set to return to the ring for the third time this year after returning from his three-and-a-half-year hiatus out the ring.
Haye has previously claimed he’ll be back in the ring on December 10th – interestingly enough on the same night that IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua will also be in action.
As the current heavyweight scene has a cloud of question marks surrounding it, following Tyson Fury vacating all of his titles, we explore the potential next David Haye opponents:
The 44-year-old former two-time heavyweight champion of the world has been tormenting Haye for a lengthy period of time, and the pair were scheduled to meet in September after Shannon Briggs featured on the undercard of the contest between Haye and Arnold Gjergjaj.
However, the fight didn’t materialise as Haye claimed that Briggs didn’t want to fight on a non-pay-per-view platform. Since then, Briggs has branded the Bermondsey-born fighter a liar and has stated he is more than happy to fight on Dave.
Despite the allegations from one another, both fighters earlier this week posted on social media that news on the next move for their future is imminent, so who is to suggest that both parties haven’t sorted their differences and now reached an agreement?
Australian heavyweight Lucas Browne is in contention to fight for the WBA world title, after he was cleared from the drug allegations presented to him earlier this year after dethroning Ruslan Chagaev in Russia.
Haye currently stands at number three in the rankings of the WBA, so a fight between these two is viable, and it arguably would see the Londoner go down the easiest route to recapture a portion of the heavyweight title.
However, in recent days Browne has been heavily linked with a fight against former ten-year reigning unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA championship, scuppering a potential clash with Haye.
European Heavyweight Champion Kubrat Pulev could also be in line to fight Haye, as the Londoner looks to further leapfrog up the rankings.
Pulev sits at number two ranking in the IBF, which could soon be upgraded to mandatory challenger as current number one Joseph Parker is set to challenge for the vacant WBO world title against Andy Ruiz Jr.
Therefore, should Haye come through the Pulev contest, he would find himself as the new official IBF mandatory challenger, finally landing himself the dream domestic tear-up with Joshua.
However, we must note that Pulev himself could be in contention to fight Joshua in December, as Klitschko now appears to be going down an alternative route on his quest to recapture his world titles.
This would therefore make the prospect of a Haye-Pulev bout unlikely, if the Bulgarian fighter opts to cash in on a world title shot.
The 27-year-old was all set for the biggest fight of his career against Ukranian Klitschko after terms were virtually agreed between the two camps, before various issues with the WBA occurred.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has indicated that he is now looking at alternative options in regards to an opponent, and if he is looking at doing similar PPV numbers as he would have done with the Klitschko fight, why look any further than Haye?
Haye has been screaming out for the fight with compatriot Joshua ever since he made his comeback in early 2016, and it is a fight that can easily be made.
On the contrary, Hearn may want to wait until a summer date to get these two men in the ring, as this clash would easily be a stadium-event.
Some would even say a voluntary defence against Haye brings more risk than reward for Joshua, so there may be a wait until Haye lands a belt of his own, paving the way for a unification fight.
Although Hearn has played down talk of a fight happening between the pair happening any time soon, stranger things have happened in boxing so this option cannot be ruled out.
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