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Home » Haye: I’m 12 to 18 months away from being Wilder’s mandatory

Haye: I’m 12 to 18 months away from being Wilder’s mandatory

The 34 year-old, who famously stated that he wouldn’t fight past his 31st birthday, is certain that he can make a successful return from a career-threatening shoulder injury and is planning to fight again this year.

“Yes, you will see me back in the ring. I’ve been taking it easy of late as obviously I had a bad shoulder injury so I needed reconstructive surgery on it,” Haye told The Daily Mail.

“That’s good now, I’ve got all the movement back and I’m banging harder than ever with that. I’m just surveying the land at the moment and seeing what’s happening out there.”

‘The Hayemaker’ has set his sights on challenging old sparring partner and unbeaten knockout specialist Deontay Wilder, who recently picked up the WBC title, as the Londoner sets himself a target of being in the mix at the top of the rankings by 2016.

“The heavyweight division is looking as good as it has done for a long time,” said Haye. “You’ve got Wladimir Klitschko still doing what he does, you’ve got the emergence of Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, big guy, perfect record. He just had a great win and I was in Vegas when he fought Bermane Stiverne. He looked like the real deal, he really did.

“He helped me out in the past with sparring so I know him very well and I think that has really spiced up the heavyweight division.

“I think a great route would be to go to America and try to navigate a way to the WBC title. Deontay Wilder is a very good champion and if I start fighting regularly I am probably a year or 18 months away from being in a mandatory position to fight him.

“I’m not stupid and I don’t think I will just jump straight in there.

“I think it would be disrespectful to the champions and a bit idiotic of myself to think that just because three years ago I could fight at a good level I can just come straight back. Not even Usain Bolt can take three years out and come straight in and expect to beat the world,” he added.

Talk is cheap though as the ex-cruiserweight king knows only too well, and as the top fighters in the division get bigger year upon year, time is fast running out for Haye to once again make a lasting impact at the heavyweight limit.