David Haye, known as ‘The Hayemaker’, is one of the United Kingdom’s finest sports figures, having worked his way up to stardom in boxing.
Along the way, he has won world championships at Cruiserweight and Heavyweight level. Haye carved out a superb record of 26-2, including an impressive 24 knockouts.
In this article, World Boxing News decided to look at five of the most defining moments in Haye’s career.
Haye’s first professional fight took place at Bethnal Green’s York Hall in December 2002. It resulted in a knockout victory over Tony Booth in round two.
Besides setting him on the path to those 24 KO’s, it also saw him launch his career in the best possible way.
Haye’s December 2005 Bracknell fight against Alexander Gurov from Ukraine saw him lift the EBU European Cruiserweight belt.
The bout took a mere 45 seconds to knock out his opponent.
This would rank as a highlight of any boxer’s career and shows how unstoppable Haye was at this time.
2006 proved to be a particularly impressive year for Haye, as he retained his European title and moved up to heavyweight. Haye started with a knockout win over Tomasz Bonin of Poland.
At the time, Bonin was ranked number eleven in the world. Haye vs. Bonin took place at Wembley in April 2007.
This time he needed 105 seconds to do the damage, ensuring he entered the heavyweight ranks with a flourish.
Having secured the WBA world heavyweight belt, Haye showed equal brilliance in retaining it.
The high-point came with his second successful retention of 2010, against fellow Brit Audley Harrison.
The fight took place at the MEN Centre in Manchester on 13 November, and the Hayemaker saw off his opponent with a great onslaught of blows in round three.
Despite a remarkable achievement in a rare all-British top division title battle, the fight took flak from detractors.
This fight for the WBA World Heavyweight Championship against the 7’2” Russian Nikolai Valuev in Nuremberg is rated by Haye himself as the best win of his career.
The fight was labeled ‘David vs. Goliath.’ The world title triumph made Haye one of the smallest Heavyweight champions of all time.
Haye’s decision win also saw two-time champion Valuev retire from the ring.