THIS time it’s different. After more than three years out of action, David Haye announced his comeback today – he’ll box Mark De Mori at the O2 in London on January 23.
He famously has missed out on fights due to injury, withdrawing twice from bouts with Tyson Fury and his career was thrown into doubt after he needed shoulder reconstruction. But he’s adamant that now he will box three times a year.
Rather than a traditional boxing promoter, he will work with an entertainment, media and marketing company, Salter Brothers Entertainment, which has run far reaching social media and digital campaigns.
“I’ve always done it my own way,” Haye told Boxing News. “These young guys [Andrew and Simon Salter] wanted to make a difference. As a friend of theirs for a while I’ve been looking at what they’ve done and been mesmerized by the way they do business and the people they reach and I thought how could you use this algorithm on boxing? They don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. They put a proposal to me once they realized I was interested in what they did and it made perfect sense to me and it all starts on January 16 and you’ll see the differences between how they do business and traditional boxing promoters.
“You’ll see the dynamics that happen over the coming weeks and that this particular fight with De Mori gets. I’ve had similar fights in the past. It’ll be interesting to look at the numbers, viewing figures-wise, internet-wise, the internet reach the television reach. They’re working on different stuff. A lot of futuristic stuff which I’ve never seen in boxing before, which will be announced in the coming weeks.”
A broadcaster is yet to be announced but David insisted, “It’s the start of something great. I’m just looking forward to getting in there and doing what I do best.”
The Salter brothers are not licensed to promote by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC), though they could work with Hayemaker Promotions. “This is their department, I’m going to co-promote. That was always one stipulation, I wanted to have a hand in everything that was going on. In case they tried to go off the rails and do something that was so far from what boxing is, I could say rein it in. So far everything’s in check. They’ve got a whole team of lawyers and boxing experts that they’ve hired for this phase. They’re going to be announcing all of the details for all of the promotional side of things in the coming weeks. Today was just to announce the opponent and the venue and my comeback to boxing,” David continued, who hasn’t yet got a BBBoC licence to box.
He is determined to be active next year. “My main ambition is to fight as often as possible. I haven’t fought three times in a year for many, many moons. I want to fight three times a year. I want to fight that often. I’m looking at other dates and other venues. It’s exciting,” he said. “I’m in a physical state where I can fight more often. In the past I’ve had to take big lay-off because of the injuries that I was holding in training before the fight and I needed two or three months just to recover. That’s not the case any longer, thank God.”