DAVID HAYE hopes to return to the ring this year after vowing to continue his career despite rupturing his Achilles tendon during his stoppage loss to Tony Bellew earlier this month.

The former unified cruiserweight and world heavyweight champion was a huge favourite going into the fight but failed to fulfil his pre-fight promise of finishing Bellew early and suffered his horrific injury in the sixth round.

Bellew went on to hammer Haye into submission in the 11th – with Haye’s trainer Shane McGuigan throwing in the towel – prompting speculation that the Londoner would retire, but he has taken to social media to update the public on his plans.

“Hello ladies and gentleman, thank you very much for all of your amazingly positive well wishes and messages of support,” he said in a video filmed inside his gym.

“Every single one of them has been read and digested by me. I will be back to my very best very soon. I have got the best people in the world looking after me so, as soon as it is humanly possible for me to get back in the ring, I will be.

“We all believe that will be before the end of 2017, which is fantastic, and everyone saw how much I wanted the fight while I was in the fight.

“The question marks were about ‘does David still want it, if the going gets tough?’ Yes, I still want it, I think I proved to everybody I did, and I am telling you all I will be the heavyweight champion of the world once again.

“Time will tell but I am doing everything humanly possible to get back on track, so watch this space.

“Thank you very much again for your support.”

Haye unified three cruiserweight titlesĀ  in 2008 when he wrecked Enzo Maccarinelli in two rounds, having defeated Jean Marc Mormeck in 2007. He then moved to heavyweight and in 2009 toppled man mountain Nikolay Valuev to become WBA heavyweight champion.

Haye took four-and-a-half years out after his 2012 demolition of Dereck Chisora due to injury and returned to action last year against abysmal opposition.

His grudge match with Bellew was seen as his toughest challenge in some time, though he was still a massive favourite. The loss, couple with the injury, could have persuaded the 36-year-old to once again call it a day, but he has vowed to return.

Top of his list is a rematch with Bellew and while Tony’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, insists he will fight again this year, it is unclear what path the current WBC cruiserweight king will take.