Haye set to retire from boxing

Tue, 11 Oct 14:02:00 2011

Former world heavyweight champion David Haye is set to retire from boxing after not renewing his licence.

David Haye of Britain celebrates after defeating Russia's WBA heavyweight boxing world champion Nikolai Valuev during their WBA title fight in Nuremberg, REUTERS - 0

Haye, who has long maintained he would not fight beyond his 31st birthday, which falls on Thursday, lost his WBA world title on points to Vladimir Klitschko in a unification bout in his last fight in July.

"I can confirm that Mr. Haye is not renewing his professional boxer's licence," Board general secretary Robert Smith told Reuters.

The retirement plans were questioned by the Klitschko camp with promoter Bernd Boente saying Haye's manager Adam Booth had told him "five minutes ago" the Briton would return to the ring if there was a fight against either of the Klitschko brothers.

"The option is still there. It really depends only on the business case," he told Sky Sports News. "We are in constant contact, we are still awaiting some numbers from British TV and then we'll see if the business case is realistic."

He said Vladimir's older brother Vitali, the WBC world heavyweight champion, was the most likely opponent and that if a fight was to take place it would be in February or March.

"A rematch (with Vladimir) makes no sense because there are no questions after the first fight, you can only promote a fight if there is a thrill," Boente said.

"Against Vitali it's a different thing, Vitali has a totally different style. Vitali said after the fight he wanted to finish what his brother didn't do, meaning knock out David Haye."

Haye, whose trash-talking before the July fight angered both Klitschkos, blamed the defeat on a broken toe and had suggested he would be prepared to postpone retirement if the Ukrainian agreed to a swift rematch.

That defeat was Haye's first in seven years and left his record at 25-2. Before joining the heavyweight division, Haye was the unified cruiserweight champion.

Haye's representatives were not immediately available for comment but local media reported the Briton was planning a news conference for Thursday.

The Klitschkos hold all the major championship belts in the division. The brothers have said they would not fight each other.


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account