Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

David Haye retires from boxing

David Haye

Former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye has told the British Boxing Board of Control that he does not wish to renew his licence to fight.

The BBBC general secretary Robert Smith told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his organisation had received an email from Haye, who lost a unification bout to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg in July.

Haye had long stated his intention to retire by his 31st birthday, which falls on Thursday, but there had been talk of a rematch with Klitschko or possibly a fight with his brother Vitali.

However, Smith said today: "According to the email I received he is no longer wishing to renew his licence."

Asked whether he had always thought a Haye-Klitschko rematch was unlikely, Smith told BBC Radio Five Live: "It doesn't really matter what I think, it's up to David and Adam (Booth, Haye's trainer and manager). Obviously his last fight must have been bitterly disappointing for him, but if you look at his career as a whole he has been very good to the sport and we wish him well.

"There are many instances when heavyweights can go on longer than the smaller weight divisions but he has his whole life ahead of him, he has achieved a great deal and good luck to the man.

"You dedicate your life to your sport and to find something after that endeavour is very difficult for anybody."

Haye opted to move up from cruiserweight in 2008 to heavyweight and won his first fight at the new level against Monte Barrett in November of that year.

Injury forced him to pull out of a planned fight with Vitali Klitschko the following year, but he claimed the WBA title in November 2009 with a points defeat of giant Russian Nikolai Valuev.

He successfully defended his title twice - against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison - before setting up the much-anticipated unification bout with Wladimir Klitschko.

The Germany-based Ukrainian triumphed on points in Hamburg, with Haye claiming his mobility had been impaired by a broken toe on his right foot during training for the fight.

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