Don’t be alarmed if you are stopped in the streets of Greenwich and challenged to a fight. It’s probably David Haye’s management team looking to fix up Haye Day III.
Boxer Haye talks very eloquently, usually from the framing of an unbruised face, about his wish to reclaim the heights of heavyweight stardom with hope of a clash with Britain’s reigning Olympic and IBF world champion Anthony Joshua sometime next year.
And yet the trajectory since his return from retirement seems to be putting him on a very different track.
The muted cheers that met his quick and dull defeat of Arnold “the cowering Cobra” Gjergjaj at The O2 on Saturday suggests he is testing the patience and goodwill of his fans too as he lumbers through the numbers.
Gjergjaj realised within a few seconds that he didn’t want to be in Greenwich and his body opted to get him out the ring before the second bell had struck. He wasn’t felled by an actual punch, more by a moment of horrible realisation.
It was a clean and efficient victory and the gruesome mismatch showed nothing about the progress, or otherwise, of David Haye. After Mark de Mori’s quick dispatch in January, observers were looking for progress, for a bigger challenge – for a fight at least. Something that would last at least the timespan of a pint or, if you watched on Dave, longer than the advert break.
Haye is also keen to stress that, at 35, time is not on his side and that he wants to be taken seriously as a contender. To achieve this, he will be starring in pantomime in September taking on 44-year-old Shannon Briggs because, well, Briggs kinda dared him too.
“I’ve got Shannon Briggs,” said Hayes gleefully. “How did he look? I’ll flatten him in September, so let’s go chump! Let’s go chump!”
You can get 1/20 odds for Haye defeating Briggs.
Joshua must be thinking a tie-up with the winner of that little twilight clumpfest will be like going to the disco with his dad.