DAVID HAYE intends to get back into the ring in December as he targets a return from the Achilles injury suffered in his heavyweight defeat to Tony Bellew.
Haye needed surgery in the wake of the bruising contest against Bellew in April, which saw the problem hamper the former two-weight world champion from the sixth round at the O2 Arena, being knocked down onto the ropes during the 11th before the towel eventually came in from his corner.
After parting company with trainer Shane McGuigan, 36-year-old Haye has recently teamed up with Cuban Ismael Salas.
The Londoner is confident things will fall into place for a return to action later in the year against an as yet unconfined opponent.
“I will be back in the ring in December, who that will be against, I don’t know,” Haye told a press conference in central London which announced the signing of Great Britain Olympic boxer Joe Joyce and Qais Ashfaq as well as Mixed Martial Arts fighter Michael Page to his Hayemaker Ringstar promotion stable.
The new three-year deal will see the bouts broadcast on the free-to-air satellite comedy channel Dave.
Joyce won a super-heavyweight silver medal at the Rio Games last summer, while Leeds bantamweight Ashfaq and Scottish amateur Willy Hutchinson are also now signed up to Hayemaker Ringstar which will offer them the opportunity to showcase at least five fights per year.
Haye said: “I have personally enjoyed huge success with UK TV, smashing viewer records on previous live broadcasts. As a result, I am thrilled to announce a long-term partnership to introduce the next generation of boxing stars to their audience.
“An incredible 40 million people tune into UK TV’s programme offering every month which without question provides the Hayemaker Ringstar stable with an incredibly strong platform for a rapidly growing fan base.”
Joyce, 31, had other options as he looked to further his professional career, but the London fighter is confident this tie-up will suit him best, with Frenchman Tony Yoka, who beat him to gold on a controversial split decision in Brazil also part of the Hayemaker Ringstar stable
“It is like a family and I have fitted in well,” said Joyce, whom Haye feels has the ability to become world champion.
“I am surrounded by great people and it is an honour to be around great promoters.
“I am fit and raring to go, I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Despite all of the positive rhetoric for the new venture, one man not impressed was Bellew.
The Merseysider – who has been linked with a showdown against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker – wrote on Twitter: “Looking forward to this! I’m a big bullseye fan also so hopefully you show this after the boxing? #ComedyAtItsFinest #LookWhatYouCouldOfWon”