This Saturday marks the second fight in the highly-anticipated comeback of ‘The Hayemaker’ David Haye, back in January he returned for his first fight in three-and-a-half years after an injury-enforced exile from the sport. He duly dispatched the unknown Australian Mark de Mori in the first round of a bout which lasted just 121 seconds.
The next stage of the comeback is against Arnold ‘The Cobra’ Gjergjaj (29-0). The Kosovo-Albanian poses more of a threat coming into the fight with an unbeaten 29-0 record which includes 21 wins by knockout. However, having only fought outside of his adopted home Switzerland once, back in 2011 in a trip to Hungary. Many would be forgiven for thinking that he will be out of his depth under the lights of the O2 Arena with over 16,000 fans in attendance.
Although Gjergjaj is a top 15 ranked Heavyweight WBO (#14) the new look Haye will still be confident of an early night’s work, with his opponent stepping up a huge gulf in class. A win on Saturday would set up a potential showdown later on the year with Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs who is fighting on the undercard.
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Haye will have been cautious in his preparation though, with Gjergjaj standing at 6"5 and boasting a 72% knockout percentage he will not want to get drawn into a shoot-out with ‘The Cobra’.
Haye weighed in for his fight back in January at a career-high 227½ lbs and although we didn’t get a chance to see how it will affect him the longer the fight goes, many think he will have sacrificed some of his lightning quick hand speed to bulk up.
Unsurprisingly based on their respective careers the former Heavyweight champion of the world ‘Hayemaker’ is a heavy favourite going into the fight. A solid bet looks to be Haye to win in Rounds 1-3 and another early stoppage would only help plans of a potential money-spinning unification fight with fellow British Heavyweight Anthony Joshua, which has been touted to happen in 2017.
Although not everyone is sold on true intentions of Haye’s comeback, whether he is genuinely hoping to compete for world honours again or whether he is back to boost the bank balance before retirement, one thing is for sure. It will be explosive while it lasts.