Former two-weight world champion David Haye admits that getting upcoming opponent Mark de Mori out of there in the opening six rounds is unlikely to happen this weekend.
The 35 year-old fights for the first time since the summer of 2012 on Saturday night at the O2 Arena as ‘The Hayemaker’ embarks on a final career campaign to become a top division world title holder.
Standing in his way is top ten-ranked de Mori, 33, a fighter with just one loss on his 33-fight record and Haye sees himself going a few rounds with ‘The Dominator’ as he once again finds his feet in the sport.
“I’ve never been in the situation where I’ve been out so long,” said Haye at Wednesday’s final press conference.
“Sparring was very tough to start off with, very awkward – but over the months it slowly but surely began to sink into place and I’m in a position now where I can throw and land punches like I could do in the old days.
“I’m expecting a tough fight, to be tested and for the fight to go into the second half of the fight. I expect to have to dig deep, get my second wind and keep pushing as that’s what I have been doing in training.
“I’m feeling good, healthy and looking forward to fighting on Dave,” he added.
A win for Haye could conceivably be the first step towards a mega-fight with fellow-Brit Anthony Joshua, although the Londoner has to look good in his return in order to stir further interest in a PPV derby clash with the Olympic star.