Imagine Boxing Blogs

Haye Reiterates Plan To Retire

Champ will not continue beyond 31

Posted Jun 16, 2011 by Chris White

The Hayemaker is set on retirement but is it the right decision

WBA heavyweight champion of the world David Haye has reiterated his intention to retire before his 31st birthday, meaning his last fight could be his upcoming clash with Wladimir Klitschko.

The fight takes place on 2nd July and Haye has admitted, “it could be my last fight.” But why will he not continue beyond his 31st birthday? Is it a mental thing or just a lack of desire? Only Haye knows.

I’ve always been one of those people who feel sportsmen and women should retire at the top, rather than ruining their careers by slipping down the rankings or out of title contention, especially in boxing with fighters continuing into their 40s and looking like shadows of their former selves. But Haye isn’t there yet, he’s 30 years old, currently the world heavyweight champion and he could be about to beat one of his two major challengers in Wladimir Klitschko – with the Ukrainian’s brother Vitali the other threat to Haye’s title.

Haye has said that once he has unified the titles by beating Wladimir, there is nowhere left to go. Well that isn’t actually true. Go out there and retain them. That’s the challenge. If you can beat an opponent, it can be down to a number of things – one explosive punch, a narrow points decision, the opponent having an off-day – so then go out and show that you deserve to be the world champion, and just how good you are by remaining the champion.

Saying there is nothing left to achieve just because he’s unified the titles is a poor attitude. One way of looking at it, from an outsider’s point of view, would be to say he’s actually scared of losing them all and ending up with nothing. By retiring with the titles as his own, he can say he retired as the world champion. The statistics will back that up as he won’t have lost as the champion, but would you want to go out without defending the world titles? That’s down to Mr Haye.

I’ve never been a big fan of David Haye outside the ring, inside the ring he is a world-class boxer, there is no denying that. But as a person, as shown by refusing to shake the hand of Wladimir Klitschko, it shows he lacks respect. By retiring before a chance to retain his unified titles – if he beats Wladimir of course – he is again showing a lack of respect by not giving his challengers the chance to beat him for his titles. Haye needs to carry on beyond his 31st birthday and retire having defended his titles. Not getting out before he loses them. I’m not encouraging him to continue into his late 30s, just to defend his titles at least. Only then will we know just how good Haye is.

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