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Haye fund-raising effort inspired by Froch and Groves

By Ian Smith

Published 19/05/2016

Nice touch: David Haye is raising funds for Nick Blackwell
Nice touch: David Haye is raising funds for Nick Blackwell

David Haye hopes Saturday's fight with Arnold Gjergjaj will raise over £50,000 for Nick Blackwell, and revealed his desire to help the retired middleweight was inspired by praise from Carl Froch and George Groves.

Blackwell, 25, will never fight again having collapsed after his defeat by Chris Eubank Jnr in March, when it was discovered he had suffered bleeding on the skull and he spent the following week in an induced coma.

Blackwell has since made an impressive recovery, but before he was brought out of his coma Haye pledged to donate 10 per cent of ticket sales from Saturday's fight at London's O2 Arena against Gjergjaj, and is optimistic Blackwell - who will also commentate on Saturday - will receive a considerable sum.

"I'm not sure how much it will be but I've been aiming to get at least £50,000, that would be a nice lump to help him move on," said Haye, 35, whose fight against Switzerland-based Kosovo-Albanian Gjergjaj is the second of the comeback that began with January's first-round stoppage of Mark de Mori.

"He will get it probably a few weeks after the fight when the money comes in from the O2 Arena. Also, we've got Nick doing some commentary work as well so he will be down at the fight.

"I had a good chat with him (on Tuesday). He's in good spirits and sounds as sharp as a tack. It's really good knowing he's coming to the fight."

Blackwell initially came to Haye's attention through his sparring sessions with Haye's pals Froch and Groves.

"I heard about the gym sessions with Carl and George - both said, 'This guy is an absolute handful, he just walks through anything'," Haye said.

"When you get world-class fighters telling me about this guy, who is a middleweight, and doing what he has been doing to them, his name sticks out."

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