David Haye’s friend BJ Flores believes the returning heavyweight is able to challenge the top guys now after witnessing a sickening knockout at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night.
Haye, 35, took out Mark de Mori with a crushing right hand to end the fight in the opening round of his first fight since 2012 and Flores says there’s no need for the Briton to take any more baby steps.
“He came out nice and calm. He didn’t take any punches and was looking to set traps for Mark de Mori,” said Flores in his capacity as co-analyst for UK Freeview channel Dave.
“He set those traps and set right in with a nice right hand and closed the show. That’s what we expect from him, but I don’t think anyone thought it was going to be quite that nice.
“The fight didn’t get too into it to see ring rust, but I don’t think we would have seen any ring rust. David was in great shape and Mark de Mori was just a class below. He’s a good fighter, but just a class below and David came out there and made sure he knew it.
“David is now looking for the big challenges. It’s not who he wants to fight, but more who wants to come here and fight him. I think there is going to be some takers and it will be very interesting to see what happens.”
Asked by Paul Dempsey whether Haye can face the current world champions immediately, Flores was unequivocal in his response.
“Absolutely, Haye can be a contender. I saw Deontay Wilder spar him many times. Deontay is a great talent, he’s six foot seven and he’s a big puncher. Charles Martin or Vyacheslav Glazkov, David matches up with any one of those, so it’s exciting.
“I think Haye’s ready, he’s been there before and he’s in a good mental place right now. David Haye with a chip on his shoulder…that can be a dangerous guy.”