David Haye at one time was the undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world and then did something that very few cruiserweight champions do – move up to heavyweight and win a title there too.
That was the WBA title he captured in Germany against giant Valuev in a disciplined performance where he won virtually every round in literally a David vs Goliath fight.
He went on to have some huge fights in the division but ultimately back to back defeats against Tony Bellew helped him make the decision to hang up the gloves this year.
He now promotes fighters like heavyweight Joe Joyce and regularly appears as an entertaining and insightful pundit on the boxing circuit.
Speaking to Talk Sport, Haye confessed what happened to make him retire:
“Walking to the ring (in the second Bellew fight) I felt unstoppable. The bell rang, and I remember him doing one particular punch. I saw it coming and normally I’d react to by countering him, but I didn’t. Bit-by-bit, everything just didn’t work. I could see the punches coming but I body wasn’t reacting to them.”
It just goes to show that no matter how talented and accomplished a fighter has been in his career, that father time waits for no one in the end and that even great champions like Haye are confronted with a painful moment in their fight careers that it is time to retire.
What a career he had though.
Cruiserweight and heavyweight champion, plenty of money and now a budding promotional company.
Not too shabby.