The former heavyweight champion of the world was defeated again this weekend by old rival Tony Bellew but seems to have revealed a more humble side in defeat for the first time in his career.
Many will remember Haye losing to Wladimir Klitschko years ago and then proceeding to blame his baby toe for the defeat – which went down like a sack of spuds at the time.
But years on and now 36 years of age, a different Haye emerged at the weekend.
A man who without doubt still carries enough single punch power in his right hand to knock any man on Earth out cold, if he lands, but a man who also could no longer rely on his once super sharp reflexes, speed and timing.
Father time simply came for that David Haye on Saturday night.
If he does box on he will need to change his fight style considerably so that he no longer has to rely on those attributes than once served him so well.
Following defeat, Haye opened up with a very honest and from the heart message for his fans:
“We promised the rematch would be another epic battle, and despite not getting the outcome I so desired, it certainly lived up to the hype.
Thank you to everyone who packed out The o2 Arena, tuned into Sky Box Office or piled into their local pub to witness it live. The energy in the build up and as I stepped into the arena in my hometown was something I will never forget.
Thank you to Tony and his whole team for their part in creating this. Being part of fight nights like last nights epic battle, those which pack out arenas and divide boxing fans are what you dream of as a child.
I enjoyed every moment of this fight campaign, from the lung busting sessions, the press conference shenanigans, early nights, clean living and even the tear up itself! You can never complain when you have been able to fulfill your childhood dream whether you win, lose or draw. I’m incredibly fortunate.
Your messages of love and positivity have been overwhelming, aside from the natural disappointment and a few bruises, I‘m good.
Tony, you are a brilliant dance partner, you proved many doubters wrong and were without question the deserved winner. Your family, friends and those you were fighting in the memory of, should be incredibly proud of their “Bomber”. Congratulations Champ”
Well said, David.