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David Haye: I can rule world again with Shane McGuigan

By David Kelly

Former world heavyweight champion David Haye is tipping new coach Shane McGuigan to take him back to the summit of boxing.

McGuigan has honed Northern Ireland hero Carl Frampton into a World champion and Haye - who formally announced his return to the ring after three years - feels the young coach can have the same impact on his career.

Haye, also a former undisputed World cruiserweight champion, has been working with McGuigan for the past two months in London and will be back in action on January 16 against Australian Mark de Mori at London's O2 Arena.

The 35-year-old has kept a close eye on the rise of Frampton and was working for ITV when The Jackal successfully defended his IBF World super-bantamweight title against Chris Avalos in the Odyssey Arena earlier this year.

"Looking at all the British and world fighters, the one fighter that stood out for me was Carl," said Haye.

"Carl's speed, timing, accuracy and punch variety is something that I didn't have in my arsenal. The guy behind that is Shane, so he was the guy I sought out."

Coach McGuigan has every confidence that he can help Haye achieve his dream of reclaiming the World heavyweight crown and both men will cast a keen eye over to Dusseldorf this weekend when Wladimir Klitschko defends his World title against Tyson Fury.

"After a couple of fights, I can see David being right back in the mix for a World title shot," said 27-year-old McGuigan, who also coaches Northern Ireland boxers Anthony Cacace and Conrad Cummings.

"David and I have gelled very well and that is so important for any coach. We've been ironing out a few technical things but I'm really looking forward to 2016 with him.

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"He has shown me already that he has an awful lot left. We had been talking about working together for a while but it was only a couple of months ago when we felt the time was right to start."

In 2011, Haye lost his WBA title in a unification clash with Klitschko and would love a re-match with the big Ukrainian.

Haye added: "It is unfinished business. I always wanted to unify the titles and I got my opportunity against Wladimir Klitschko, and I don't believe I fulfilled my potential that night. I believe I underperformed.

"Three-and-a-half years out of the ring is a long time and I have had injuries and operations.

"But I am fully fit now, feeling better than ever and looking forward to getting in amongst some of the big fights that are happening at the moment.

"When you have to put your arm in a cast and can't move it for six months, you get really low and depressed - you can't exercise, you put on unnecessary weight.

"It was probably one of the lowest times in my life. But I've come out of that now with a new lease of life.

"I always thought if I was able to get back, I'd like to work with Shane. We talked a while ago and when I was physically ready to start punching again, I went down to the gym and have not looked back - it has been one great session after another.

"A lot of people are worried about the three-and-a-half years off, but I believe that after that period, I am going to be a better force than I was when I was in my alleged heyday. I believe I am in my heyday now."

Thirty-three-year-old De Mori, ranked in the WBA's top 10, suffered the only defeat of his 33-bout career in 2004. He has won 30 times, including 26 knock-outs.

Haye has 26 victories (24 KOs) and two defeats on his record, the last loss being that in 2011 to Klitschko.

After claiming various World titles at cruiserweight, Haye stepped up to the heavyweight division and took the WBA crown in 2009 by beating Nikolai Valuev.

That belt was retained in subsequent fights against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison, but then lost to Klitschko, a clash after which Haye insisted his performance had been undermined by having broken his toe pre-fight.

A brief retirement followed, before a brawl with Dereck Chisora prompted it coming to an end with a contest between the pair which saw Haye triumph.

Belfast Telegraph


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